Singapore and China to sign several agreements during Xi visit

Singapore and China are set to sign several important agreements during Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to the island state.
Singapore and China are set to sign several important agreements during Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to the island state. PHOTO: EPA

SINGAPORE - Singapore and China will sign several pacts during Chinese President Xi Jinping's state visit starting on Friday (Nov 6), including an exchange of letters for the official launch of negotiations to upgrade a bilateral free trade agreement.

Both sides will also sign agreements related to the third government-to-government project in western China, as well as cooperation in areas such as education, urban management, and collaboration between the two Customs.

The Singapore foreign ministry said in a statement on Thursday Mr Xi will meet with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and both will witness the signing ceremony on Saturday.

It added President Tony Tan Keng Yam will host an official welcome at the Istana and meet with Mr Xi Friday and that Mrs Mary Tan will separately host Mr Xi's wife, Madam Peng Liyuan, to tea.

A state banquet will be held in honour of Mr Xi, Madam Peng and their delegation, which include policy research head Wang Huning, general office head Li Zhanshu and State Councillor Yang Jiechi.

Mr Xi's two-day trip is part of an exchange of presidential visits by both sides to mark 25 years of diplomatic relations this year.

Mr Xi and his wife will also visit the Singapore Botanic Gardens where an orchid hybrid "Papilionanda" will be named in their honour. PM Lee and Mrs Lee will also host them to a private lunch.

During his visit - his first to Singapore since taking the presidency in 2013 -Mr Xi will deliver the 36th Singapore Lecture at the National University of Singapore, which will be chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean.

Along with Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, Mr Xi will also officially open the China Cultural Centre located at Queen Street.

Mr Xi and Mr Goh had attended the centre's groundbreaking ceremony in 2010.

kianbeng@sph.com.sg