China's Central Organisation Department Minister Zhao Leji calls on PM Lee Hsien Loong

During the meeting, both leaders affirmed the strong and substantial relationship between their two countries.
During the meeting, both leaders affirmed the strong and substantial relationship between their two countries.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

SINGAPORE - China's Central Organisation Department Minister Zhao Leji called on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Tuesday (May 16).

During the meeting, both leaders affirmed the strong and substantial relationship between their two countries, said Press Secretary to the Prime Minister, Ms Chang Li Lin.

They noted that bilateral relations dated back to the 1970s, when then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew first visited China in 1976, and then Chinese Vice-Premier Deng Xiaoping visited Singapore in 1978.

"Mr Lee and Mr Deng provided a strong foundation for the friendship and cooperation that the two countries now enjoy," said the PMO.

PM Lee and Mr Zhao, who is a Communist Party of China Politburo member, also agreed that bilateral cooperation has evolved greatly over the last 40 years, and human resource development has become an important area of cooperation.

This reflects the development and changing priorities of Singapore and China, said the PMO.

Mr Zhao is in Singapore for the 6th Singapore-China Forum on Leadership.

 

Both leaders noted the importance of the leadership forum as a key platform to share experiences in the areas of governance and training of officials.

Mr Zhao also expressed appreciation for Singapore's participation at the "Belt and Road" Forum, which took place in Beijing from Sunday to Monday.

Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong led a delegation to Beijing for the forum on China's "Belt and Road" initiative - which aims to revive ancient land and sea trade routes that linked the country to the rest of Asia, Africa and Europe.

PM Lee and Mr Zhao also spoke about regional issues.

They affirmed the close relations between China and regional grouping Asean.

They also said they looked forward to meaningful progress on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, a trade pact between Asean and the grouping's key trading partners, Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea.