Stable regional order important to China, says DPM Teo

Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean (right) congratulates Mr Li Rongrong, 71, the founding chairman of China's State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration of the State Council, for winning the Business China Award. Mr Li was honoured for b
Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean (right) congratulates Mr Li Rongrong, 71, the founding chairman of China's State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration of the State Council, for winning the Business China Award. Mr Li was honoured for building strong links with the Singapore business community. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

China, with its large and growing economy, has an important stake in the evolving regional architecture, said Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean on Wednesday.

Beijing has declared its commitment to maintaining a stable and peaceful regional order, including cross-strait relations.

"Singapore is honoured to have hosted the historic meeting between leaders from the two sides of the Taiwan Strait," said Mr Teo, referring to the meeting of Chinese President Xi Jinping and Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou in Singapore three weeks ago.

"A stable regional order that is not overshadowed by nationalism and territorial disputes will boost investor confidence in the region and provide a conducive environment for businesses to thrive."

Mr Teo, who is also Coordinating Minister for National Security, was speaking at the Business China Awards dinner at the Resorts World Convention Centre.

Now in their sixth year, the awards were jointly presented by Business China and OCBC Bank to recognise businessmen, professionals and organisations.

Besides maintaining stability in the region, China has engaged Asean countries economically with its "One Belt, One Road" vision, Mr Teo said. "As a key hub in Asean, Singapore can play a constructive role in enhancing trade, finance and logistics connectivity between China and Asean," he added.

He noted that Singapore's third joint project with China, in the south-western city of Chongqing, as well as the upgraded free trade agreement will be focused on improving connectivity.

People-to-people linkages form another critical element of connectivity between the two countries.

And Singapore businesses that are familiar with the mainland can serve as a bridge between China and the region, he added.

Mr Teo presented awards to two people - one from China and the other from Singapore - and one Singapore company for their contributions to Singapore-China ties.

Mr Li Rongrong, 71, the founding chairman of China's State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration of the State Council, was honoured for building strong links with the Singapore business community during his 2003 to 2010 tenure.

Singapore singer Tanya Chua, 40, was recognised for her achievements in the Chinese pop music scene.

The enterprise award went to Keppel Corporation, which was lauded for its excellent track record in China since the early 1980s. It is also well-known for leading the Singapore consortia for Suzhou Industrial Park and Tianjin Eco-City.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 27, 2015, with the headline 'Stable regional order important to China, says DPM Teo S'pore 'has its special role in Asean''. Print Edition | Subscribe