Beijing lauds S'pore for 'positive role' as Asean-China coordinator

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi greeting his Singapore counterpart Vivian Balakrishnan prior to their bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the 50th Asean regional security forum in Manila yesterday.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi greeting his Singapore counterpart Vivian Balakrishnan prior to their bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the 50th Asean regional security forum in Manila yesterday.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

MANILA • China has lauded Singapore for its "positive" and "constructive" role as country coordinator for Asean-China dialogue relations.

"We commend Singapore for playing a positive and constructive role in advancing China-Asean relations," Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told reporters yesterday.

He said he wished Singapore well as it prepares to assume the chairmanship of the 10-member Asean grouping next year, in addition to continuing as Asean-China dialogue relations coordinator.

"We believe in and wish Singapore well in taking up these two responsibilities. So, in the process of further improving China-Asean relations, Singapore can play its special and positive role," he said.

Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, in remarks at the signing of an agreement on the Asean- China Centre, said Asean-China ties "are on a positive trajectory".

Singapore assumed the role of Asean-China dialogue relations coordinator in August 2015 for three years.

It has been instrumental in getting both sides to conclude talks on a framework of a code of conduct aimed at preventing overlapping territorial claims in the South China Sea from erupting into violent confrontations.

SPECIAL ROLE

We believe in and wish Singapore well in taking up these two responsibilities. So, in the process of further improving China-Asean relations, Singapore can play its special and positive role.

CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTER WANG YI

Raul Dancel

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 07, 2017, with the headline 'Beijing lauds S'pore for 'positive role' as Asean-China coordinator'. Print Edition | Subscribe