Singapore-China ties in working shape, says PM

PM Lee Hsien Loong (left) and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands during the G20 Summit at the Hangzhou International Expo Center in Hangzhou, China, on Sept 4, 2016.
PM Lee Hsien Loong (left) and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands during the G20 Summit at the Hangzhou International Expo Center in Hangzhou, China, on Sept 4, 2016.PHOTO: EPA

Singapore-China cooperation is progressing on many fronts, which include the Chongqing Connectivity Initiative (CCI) launched last November, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said after his visit to China and meetings with top leaders.

Both sides are exploring ways to use the CCI - the third government-led project between Singapore and China - to test bed new policies or development strategies, PM Lee said, as he described bilateral relations to be in "working shape".

On perceived tensions over Singapore's role as China-Asean dialogue relations coordinator due to veiled criticisms by Chinese officials, PM Lee said it is "normal" for two countries to have issues, especially in a very close relationship.

"But when we have different perspectives, I think we have to manage them, accept them, and we should not allow them to affect the overall relationship," he added.

PM Lee, who was also in China to attend the Group of 20 leaders' summit as a guest nation, took part in a discussion yesterday during which he urged leaders to ratify the World Trade Organisation's Trade Facilitation Agreement to help liberalise trade.

The two-day summit, hosted by China for the first time, ended yesterday with a list of 29 outcomes. These include a blueprint for innovative growth and a set of guiding principles on global investment policymaking.

Kor Kian Beng

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 06, 2016, with the headline 'S'pore-China ties in working shape, says PM'. Print Edition | Subscribe