ESM Goh visits China en route to Seoul

Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong will kick off a six-day trip to China today, with stops in Guangzhou and capital Beijing, before heading to the South Korean capital Seoul for a series of forums and meetings with political leaders.

He will spend three days in Guangzhou, in southern Guangdong province, where he will deliver a keynote speech at the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road Expo Forum at the invitation of the provincial government.

Mr Goh's speech will centre on the development of a maritime silk road for a peaceful and prosperous Asian community, according to a statement by Singapore's Foreign Ministry yesterday.

The maritime silk road is part of Chinese President Xi Jinping's "One Belt, One Road" initiative. Proposed in 2013, the initiative is aimed at boosting trade and investment along the overland "Silk Road Economic Belt" and the "21st Century Maritime Silk Road" connecting China with South-east Asia, Africa and Europe.

Mr Goh is expected to meet Guangdong party secretary Hu Chunhua and Guangzhou party secretary Ren Xuefeng during his time there, the statement said. He will also visit the Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City.

On Saturday, he will travel to Beijing, where he is slated to attend the 2nd Understanding China Forum at the invitation of the Berggruen Institute, the China Institute for Innovation and Development Strategy, the Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs and the Beijing Municipal People's Government.

The forum, from Sunday to Tuesday, will discuss key developments in China as well as regional and international developments.

Conference participants will also have a roundtable meeting with Mr Xi, the statement said, adding that Mr Goh will meet other Chinese political leaders in the capital.

He will then travel to Seoul from Nov 3 to 5 to attend the 10th Global HR Forum, which is jointly organised by the Korea Economic Daily, South Korea's education ministry and the Korea Research Institute for Vocational Training.

Mr Goh will deliver a keynote address at the forum and also meet Korean leaders while in Seoul.

He will be accompanied by officials from the Prime Minister's Office and the foreign affairs ministry during the trip.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 29, 2015, with the headline 'ESM Goh visits China en route to Seoul'. Print Edition | Subscribe