National Day congratulations

Foreign leaders send National Day greetings

President Tony Tan Keng Yam (right) toasting Chinese President Xi Jinping at a state banquet held in honour of the Chinese leader at the Istana on November 6, 2015.
President Tony Tan Keng Yam (right) toasting Chinese President Xi Jinping at a state banquet held in honour of the Chinese leader at the Istana on November 6, 2015.PHOTO: ST FILE

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang sent congratulatory messages to their Singapore counterparts yesterday.

Mr Xi, in a letter to President Tony Tan Keng Yam, said Singapore had made remarkable achievements and "with the concerted efforts of your government and people of all ethnic groups, Singapore will embrace a brighter tomorrow".

China and Singapore are "friendly and close neighbours", he added. "Our bilateral relations enjoy a sound momentum with fruitful exchanges and cooperation in various fields," he said, adding that he placed great emphasis on the development of China-Singapore relations.

Noting the frequent high-level exchanges in various fields, Mr Li said in a letter to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong: "China stands ready to work together with Singapore to deepen political mutual trust, promote practical cooperation and bring about even greater progress in bilateral relations."

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi also wrote to his Singapore counterpart Vivian Balakrishnan, saying: "As Singapore is country coordinator for China- Asean relations, I stand ready to closely work... for even greater progress in China-Singapore and China-Asean relations."

United States Secretary of State John Kerry also wished Singaporeans a joyous National Day on behalf of President Barack Obama and the American people. Mr Kerry said in a statement that he had the honour of welcoming PM Lee to the US last week, on a visit that reaffirmed a partnership on a wide range of issues.

"The United States proudly regards Singapore as one of our closest friends," he added.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 10, 2016, with the headline 'Foreign leaders send National Day greetings'. Print Edition | Subscribe