Minister for Foreign Affairs of Singapore Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan had discussion with Minister of Foreign Affairs of China Wang Yi and Minister of International Department of the Communist Party of China Song Tao. They interacted on a range of issues of both the countries.
The leaders reaffirmed the “All-Round Cooperative Partnership Progressing with the Times”, as agreed to by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and President Xi Jinping in November 2015.
Balakrishnan said, “Singapore and China continue to enjoy good and warm relations built up painstakingly over many decades. There is great potential to deepen and broaden our cooperation.”
The two Foreign Ministers discussed concrete ways to promote regional development and connectivity, including Singapore’s support for China’s “Belt and Road” initiative. Minister Balakrishnan encouraged Chinese companies to compete in the international tender conducted jointly by Malaysia and Singapore for the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail project.
Both China and Singapore are fully committed to free trade and the promotion of win-win outcomes through greater regional economic integration, including expediting the upgrade of the China-Singapore Free Trade Agreement which was one of the key deliverables of President Xi’s State Visit to Singapore in 2015. They also expressed support for ongoing negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, which is a pathway towards an eventual Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific.
Minister Balakrishnan and Minister Wang also exchanged views on ways to strengthen ASEAN-China relations.
At the meeting with Minister Song, Minister Balakrishnan noted the long-standing bilateral ties dating back to the time of Mr Lee Kuan Yew and Mr Deng Xiaoping, which laid the foundation for the special relationship that has developed since then. Minister Song acknowledged Singapore’s role in supporting China’s development since the early years, and discussed the progress of the three Government-to-Government projects, namely the China-Singapore Suzhou Industrial Park, the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city and the China-Singapore (Chongqing) Demonstration Initiative on Strategic Connectivity (Chongqing Connectivity Initiative).
Both Ministers agreed to further strengthen cooperation on the “Belt and Road” initiative and the Party-to-Party links between the two sides.