PM Lee expresses confidence in long-term outlook of China's economy, accepts invitation to G-20 summit

Chinese President Xi Jinping (left) and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong shake hands in Singapore on Nov 7, 2015.
Chinese President Xi Jinping (left) and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong shake hands in Singapore on Nov 7, 2015.PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has expressed confidence in the long-term outlook for China's economy, Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Saturday (Nov 7) as Chinese President Xi Jinping wrapped up his state visit here.

PM Lee noted that as China continues to modernise its financial system, it will face complex challenges. However, he expressed confidence that China has the right regulatory leadership and expertise to keep the financial system and capital markets stable and healthy so as to support its economy.

On financial cooperation, both leaders agreed that there was potential for further growth in RMB (renminbi) cooperation.

Mr Lee proposed expanding cooperation in capital markets, particularly in stock and derivatives linkages and mutual recognition of fund products, said the statement.

"PM Lee expressed strong support for the inclusion of the RMB in the International Monetary Fund's Special Drawing Rights basket, reflecting the RMB's growing use as an international currency," it added.

Mr Xi also invited Singapore to participate in the G-20 meetings and G-20 summit to be held in China in 2016. PM Lee has accepted the invitation.

Mr Xi's visit marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Singapore and China.

On regional developments, both leaders agreed to strengthen collaboration between Asean and China. Both sides will mark the 25th anniversary of dialogue relations in 2016.

As the current country coordinator for the Asean-China Dialogue Relations, Singapore will work closely with Asean member states and China to enhance collaboration.

The two leaders also discussed cross-strait relations. Mr Xi thanked Singapore for facilitating the meeting between him and Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou.

The historic talks, held at the Shangri-La Hotel here, lasted less than an hour but were heavy with symbolism. The two leaders shook hands and smiled in front of a mass of journalists when they met.

Said the statement: "Singapore has consistently upheld a 'One China' policy and supported initiatives that contribute to the peaceful development of cross-strait relations, including direct exchanges between the two sides such as the historic Wang-Koo talks held in Singapore in 1993 and the meeting today between Mr Xi Jinping and Mr Ma Ying-jeou."