NANJING - Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday congratulated Singapore on its 49th National Day, noting the strides the country has made since its independence in 1965, in a bilateral meeting with President Tony Tan Keng Yam here.
He also sent his regards to former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, in opening remarks in Mandarin.
In the meeting of the two heads of state on the sidelines of the Youth Olympic Games, President Tan reaffirmed strong bilateral relations between Singapore and China.
"Our relationship today between China and Singapore is sustainable and is multifaceted. Our economic and trade relations are excellent," said Dr Tan in English.
"I'm sure this relationship will continue to thrive and prosper in the years to come ... China is Singapore's largest trade partner now and we are increasingly investing in China."
The two leaders also briefly discussed the second Youth Olympic Games, which opens here on Saturday evening.
Dr Tan is on a three-day visit at the invitation of Mr Xi to attend the Games' opening ceremony. The inaugural Games were held in Singapore four years ago.
Both heads of states said that the Youth Olympic Games are essential because the youth are the future of the world.
Dr Tan said that the Games represent the "aspiration, opportunities, hope ... and the ideals of participation and sportsmanship".
He also later met with the 18 Team Singapore youth athletes competing at the Nanjing Games at their accomodation at the Games' village.