Premier Li Keqiang met with Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in Singapore on Nov 12.
Singapore is a good neighbor and important partner for China, and participated in China’s reform and opening-up course in a profound way. Being each other’s important trade and investment partner, the two countries enjoy consolidated mutual trust and fruitful cooperative results, Premier Li said.
The Premier said China and Singapore confirmed building a partnership of all-around cooperation keeping with the times when President Xi Jinping paid a state visit to the country in 2015. And the Chinese side is willing to strengthen coordination with Singapore, enhance mutually beneficial cooperation and push bilateral ties to a new height, he added.
Premier Li said China and Singapore enjoy complementary advantages, as well as broad prospects and huge potential for cooperation. During his visit to the country, the two sides reached several cooperative agreements.
Premier Li said China is willing to further deepen innovation cooperation and enhance personnel training in finance, science and technology, and businesses.
Taking the signing of the memorandum of understanding on the China-Singapore land and maritime corridor as an opportunity, the two sides will promote onshore and maritime interconnectivity at the same time. And as Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City has become a national-level bilateral cooperative program, the two sides should expand cooperation in smart city construction, promote upgrading of urban management and development of artificial intelligence, and carry out discussions on new cooperation at the local level, he said.
He expressed hopes that the two sides will grasp opportunities to promote two-way trade and investment since the China-Singapore free trade agreement (FTA) completed negotiations on upgrading.
Premier Li stressed that China supports economic integration of East Asia and the central role of ASEAN in regional cooperation, and appreciates Singapore’s effort as the rotating president of ASEAN.
China is willing to enhance comprehensive cooperation with ASEAN, he added.
Premier Li said China is willing to conclude the negotiation on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) as soon as possible, based on the principle of mutual respect and understanding, which will serve the free trade system and economic globalization with WTO at the core.
China, the Premier said, is willing to work with nations in the region to accelerate negotiation on the “Code of Conduct” (COC) to jointly safeguard the peace and stability of the South China Sea.
Lee Hsien Loong said the development of Singapore-China relations has been keeping good momentum, with new achievements made between pragmatic cooperation in trade, investment, technology, education and culture, a win-win result, he said.
The upgrade of the Singapore-China FTA will bring real benefits for the two peoples, while sending positive signals to commercial and industrial circles of both countries that bilateral trade and investment will be further expanded, he said.
Singapore is pleased to see that Guangzhou Knowledge City has become a national level cooperative project, and is ready to launch more cooperation of this kind, as a way to tap more potential in smart cities and e-commerce cooperation, Lee said, adding that more land and sea channels will be built to promote bilateral trade and the two-way flow of logistics.
As the rotating president of ASEAN, he said, Singapore is ready to enhance ASEAN-China relations, as well as to facilitate the negotiation of COC and RCEP, jointly sending positive signals in safeguarding multilateralism and free trade.