Vivian meets Wang Yi for third time in two months

Foreign ministers Dr Balakrishnan and Mr Wang meeting in Beijing yesterday on the sidelines of the Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation.
Foreign ministers Dr Balakrishnan and Mr Wang meeting in Beijing yesterday on the sidelines of the Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

BEIJING • Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan's meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi yesterday was their third this year, a fact highlighted by Mr Wang.

The two ministers met on the sidelines of the 13th round of the Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) in Beijing.

They met last month at the World Economic Forum in the resort town of Davos in Switzerland.

They saw each other again earlier this month at the G-20 foreign min- isters' meeting in Bonn, Germany.

"I think this is normal because it is important for Singapore and China to keep in touch on many multilateral issues," Mr Wang said at the meeting held at the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

He added: "I hope both sides can work doubly hard, through the actual actions of our cooperation, to fully embody the characterisation of the bilateral relationship that we share, which is 'an all-round cooperative partnership progressing with the times'."

Agreeing, Dr Balakrishnan noted he visited China four times last year.

"We will see how many times I will come to China," he quipped, adding that he always looks forward to visiting the country. The meeting, which was slated for 30 minutes, lasted about an hour.

 

Dr Balakrishnan is in Beijing as part of Singapore's delegation for the JCBC, a high-level annual meeting begun in 2004 to discuss ways to deepen and broaden ties between Singapore and China.

Earlier yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean and Chinese Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli co-chaired the meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse.

Dr Balakrishnan told Mr Wang the JCBC reviews a wide range of government-to-government projects as well as other areas of cooperation.

"All the projects are doing very well," he added.

Dr Balakrishnan also met Mr Song Tao, head of the International Liaison Department of the Chinese Communist Party, yesterday.

Chong Koh Ping

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 28, 2017, with the headline 'Vivian meets Wang Yi for third time in two months'. Print Edition | Subscribe