PM Lee visiting Chongqing, Hangzhou

PM Lee Hsien Loong begins a four-day trip to China on Sept 2, 2016.
PM Lee Hsien Loong begins a four-day trip to China on Sept 2, 2016. ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

Trip to Chongqing is his first since launch of S'pore-China government-led project there

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong begins a four-day trip to China today that includes his first visit to Chongqing since the launch of a new Singapore-China project, and a visit to Hangzhou to attend the Group of 20 leaders' summit.

In Hangzhou, Mr Lee will have a bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, the Prime Minister's Office said yesterday.

The visit to Chongqing is Mr Lee's first to the municipality since the launch last year of the Chongqing Connectivity Initiative (CCI), the third and latest Singapore-China government-led project. The other two are the Suzhou Industrial Park, launched in 1994, and the Tianjin Eco-city, launched in 2008.

The CCI is aimed at boosting growth in China's less-developed western region, focusing on financial services, aviation, transport and logistics, and information and communication technology.

Mr Lee will meet Chongqing party boss Sun Zhengcai, who is in the 25-member Politburo of the Communist Party of China and considered one of its future top leaders. Mr Sun will host Mr Lee to dinner.

  • I'm all right, says PM

  • Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said yesterday he is "all right", ahead of his first overseas trip since he took ill at the National Day Rally last month.

    Mr Lee was speaking to Channel NewsAsia (CNA) during the recording of an upcoming programme, The Prime Minister on Race and Politics, which airs on Sunday night.

    "Doctors went over me very thoroughly the same night and after that, and they went through all possible causes," CNA cited him saying.

    "Finally, they concluded it is what they call a vasovagal syncope. That, to a layman, means you stood up and you fainted, and fortunately it's nothing worse than that and no harm came to me, but I had a week's break and I'm back at work."

    Asked if he had made any changes to his routine, he said: "They say don't overstrain yourself and if you think you're going to faint, squat down and don't keel over…

    "I usually have a doctor travel with me when I'm going on working trips. I just have to keep a sustainable pace."

Mr Lee will also visit CapitaLand's 24 billion yuan (S$4.9 billion) Raffles City Chongqing mixed-development project, which is located in the historic Chaotianmen area and is the largest single investment by the company in China.

The Singapore Business Federation will lead a delegation to the city during Mr Lee's visit. It will include companies with investments in Chongqing, as well as those hoping to enter the growing market.

Mr Lee will attend the G-20 summit in Hangzhou, where he will join leaders from the world's 20 major economies in discussions on advancing global economic and financial cooperation to promote sustainable and inclusive growth.

Singapore is not a member of the G-20, but is among eight guest nations invited to the two-day summit, which starts on Sunday. Mr Xi invited Mr Lee to the summit during his state visit to Singapore last November, which marked 25 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries. It was during the visit that the CCI was officially launched.

Trade between Singapore and Chongqing grew by 17 per cent year on year to reach around US$2 billion (S$2.7 billion) last year. Singapore's investments in the city have doubled, from US$2.4 billion to US$5.7 billion between 2011 and 2015. It is also Chongqing's third-largest external investor, behind Hong Kong and the British Virgin Islands.

Mr Lee is being accompanied by Mrs Lee during his trip. With him in Chongqing are Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Chan Chun Sing, Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Transport Josephine Teo, Minister of State for Education and Communications and Information Janil Puthucheary, and Minister of State for Trade and Industry and National Development Koh Poh Koon.

Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan and National Development Minister and Second Finance Minister Lawrence Wong will join Mr Lee in Hangzhou.

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean will be Acting Prime Minister during Mr Lee's absence.

SEE WORLD

BUSINESS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 02, 2016, with the headline 'PM Lee visiting Chongqing, Hangzhou'. Print Edition | Subscribe