Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan meets Chinese counterpart Wang Yi for 3rd time this year

Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan meets his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Beijing on Monday, Feb 27, 2017.
Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan meets his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Beijing on Monday, Feb 27, 2017.ST PHOTO: CHONG KOH PING

BEIJING - Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan met his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Beijing on the sidelines of the 13th round of the bilateral Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) on Monday (Feb 27). 

This is the third time the two foreign ministers have met this year, a fact highlighted by Mr Wang.

"I think this is normal because it's important for Singapore and China to keep in touch on many multilateral issues," said Mr Wang at the meeting at China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs .

"I hope our both sides can work doubly hard, through the actual actions of our cooperation, to fully embody the characterisation of the bilateral relationship that we share, which is an 'all-round cooperative partnership progressing with the times'," he added.

Agreeing, Dr Balakrishnan noted that he visited China four times last year. "We'll see how many times I will come to China," he quipped, adding that he always looks forward to visiting the country.

Dr Balakrishnan is in Beijing as part of Singapore's delegation for the 13th round of the JCBC, a high-level annual meeting begun in 2004 to discuss ways to deepen and broaden ties between Singapore and China.

Earlier on Monday, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean and Chinese Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli co-chaired the meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse.

Dr Balakrishnan told Mr Wang that the JCBC reviews a wide range of government to government projects as well as other areas of cooperation.

"All the projects are doing very well," he added.

On Monday afternoon, Dr Balakrishnan also met Mr Song Tao, head of the International Liaison Department of the Chinese Communist Party.