PM Lee, Chinese minister affirm strong ties

China's Central Organisation Department Minister Zhao Leji calling on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana yesterday. They spoke about regional issues and affirmed close ties between China and Singapore.
China's Central Organisation Department Minister Zhao Leji calling on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana yesterday. They spoke about regional issues and affirmed close ties between China and Singapore.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

China's Central Organisation Department Minister Zhao Leji called on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana yesterday.

During the meeting, both leaders affirmed the strong and substantial relationship between their nations.

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

"Mr Lee and Mr Deng provided a strong foundation for the friendship and cooperation that the two countries now enjoy," said a statement from the Prime Minister's press secretary, Ms Chang Li Lin.

PM Lee and Mr Zhao, who is a member of the Communist Party of China Politburo, also agreed that cooperation has evolved greatly in the past 40 years, reflecting the development and changing priorities of both countries.

Human resource development has become an important area of cooperation, said Ms Chang.

Mr Zhao is in Singapore for the 6th Singapore-China Forum on Leadership, and both leaders noted its importance as a key platform to share experiences in areas of governance and the training of officials.

 
 
 

Mr Zhao also expressed appreciation for Singapore's participation in the Belt and Road Forum, on China's initiative to revive ancient land and sea trade routes, which took place in Beijing from Sunday to Monday.

PM Lee and Mr Zhao also spoke about regional issues and affirmed the close ties between China and Asean.

They added that 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.

Joanna Seow

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 17, 2017, with the headline 'PM Lee, Chinese minister affirm strong ties'. Print Edition | Subscribe