Singapore and China hold 'candid and in-depth' discussions during Xi Jinping's visit

PM Lee Hsien Loong (right) gesturing to China's President Xi Jinping after the signing of MOUs between China and Singapore on Nov 7, 2015.
PM Lee Hsien Loong (right) gesturing to China's President Xi Jinping after the signing of MOUs between China and Singapore on Nov 7, 2015.ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI

SINGAPORE - Singapore and China have released a Joint Statement outlining what both sides have agreed on during meetings between leaders of both sides over the past two days.

During the visit, which marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Singapore and China, President Xi Jinping met President Tony Tan and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

"They had candid, cordial and in-depth discussions on bilateral, regional and international issues of common interest, and reached broad consensus on many areas," the statement said.

 
 

Both sides shared the view that their countries have adopted a strategic and long-term perspective in charting the course of bilateral relations over the past quarter-century, and pledged to ensure that the relationship progresses in line with the unique strengths and development needs of both countries.

"On the important milestone of the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, the two countries have agreed to establish an "All-Round Cooperative Partnership Progressing with the Times" in order to elevate bilateral relations to a higher level," the statement added.

Below is the full text of the joint statement:

At the invitation of President Tony Tan Keng Yam of the Republic of Singapore, President Xi Jinping of the People's Republic of China paid a State Visit to Singapore from 6 to 7 November 2015. The visit marked the successful exchange of State Visits by the two Presidents to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Singapore and China. During the visit, President Xi Jinping met President Tony Tan and PM Lee Hsien Loong. They had candid, cordial and in-depth discussions on bilateral, regional and international issues of common interest, and reached broad consensus on many areas.

The two sides shared the view that both countries have adopted a strategic and long-term perspective in charting the course of bilateral relations since China and Singapore established diplomatic relations on 3 October 1990. Both sides will continue to ensure that the relationship progresses in line with the unique strengths and development needs of both countries. Over the years, the two countries have engaged in multi-faceted, practical and innovative cooperation across many fields. Adopting a forward-looking approach that keeps pace with the times has always been a defining feature of the bilateral relationship. On the important milestone of the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, the two countries have agreed to establish an "All-Round Cooperative Partnership Progressing with the Times" in order to elevate bilateral relations to a higher level.

The two sides spoke highly of the tradition of friendly exchanges started by our pioneer generation of leaders, and agreed to build on this foundation of mutual understanding and trust to further strengthen high-level interaction and cooperation. Singapore will maintain its consistent "One China Policy".

The two sides stressed that the bilateral relationship is at an important milestone, during which it has the opportunity to build on past achievements to make further progress. Singapore welcomes China's "One Belt, One Road" initiative which complements the development needs of the region. The two sides have agreed to explore new areas and initiatives for cooperation that evolves in tandem with the development needs of both sides, so as to bring greater benefit to the two countries and their peoples. The two sides have reached consensus in the following areas:

1. Make full use of existing inter-governmental cooperation mechanisms, such as the annual Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation (co-chaired at the Deputy Prime Minister / Executive Vice Premier level), to plan, guide and coordinate cooperation and collaboration in various fields.

2. Recognising that economic cooperation is one of the key pillars of our bilateral relations, Singapore and China will continue to encourage and promote bilateral trade and investment through platforms such as the Investment Promotion Committee. Singapore welcomes Chinese businesses to use Singapore as a base for internationalisation. China and Singapore also endeavour to encourage our companies to explore third-country cooperation between the businesses of the two countries under the "One Belt, One Road" initiative and the Masterplan on ASEAN Connectivity.

3. In accordance with the consensus reached by China's President Xi Jinping and Singapore's President Tony Tan, China and Singapore conducted a Joint Scoping Study on the Upgrade of China-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (CSFTA). Based on the Study, the Upgrade of the CSFTA will be comprehensive, balanced and mutually beneficial, involving elements such as Trade in Goods, Trade in Services and Investment. China and Singapore have agreed to launch the CSFTA Upgrade negotiations and work towards the completion of the negotiations by 2016.

4. Further develop the China-Singapore Suzhou Industrial Park and Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city and affirm their role as pathfinders through the replication of their successful and innovative experiences to other projects within China, where appropriate. Continue the good work achieved by the seven provincial-level business councils, as well as our private sector-led and government-supported projects such as the Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City, Singapore-Sichuan Hi-tech Innovation Park, Sino-Singapore Jilin Food Zone and Sino-Singapore Nanjing Eco High-tech Island. Both sides shall also endeavour to inject new impetus into Singapore's participation in China's regional development.

5. Both sides strongly support the development of the third Government-to-Government project between Singapore and China in China's Western region as the key priority demonstration project under China's "One Belt, One Road", Western Region Development and Yangtze River Economic Belt strategies. Based on the theme of "Modern Connectivity and Modern Services", the project will be innovative, of a high starting point and of a high standard. Both sides agreed to select Chongqing Municipality as the base for the project. Both sides identified four priority areas of collaboration, namely financial services, aviation, transport & logistics, and information & communications technology. Titled "China-Singapore (Chongqing) Demonstration Initiative on Strategic Connectivity", the project will serve to enhance connectivity and drive the development of Western China. Both countries are fully committed to and shall provide full support for the success of the Initiative. Both countries agree to accord the Initiative with necessary innovative measures, including but not limited to policy and institutional innovations, which shall be consistent with China's Comprehensive Deepening of Reforms. Relevant agencies from both countries shall actively support the conceptualisation and implementation of the Initiative.

6. Keep up the good momentum in financial cooperation. China is vigorously pushing for production capacity cooperation with other countries. Singapore is ready to discuss with China ways to raise the financing services capability of Chinese financial institutions operating in Singapore to jointly make Singapore a financial support platform for regional production capacity cooperation. The two sides agreed to promote the use of Renminbi (RMB) in bilateral trade and investment, improve the use of the platform of the RMB clearing bank in Singapore, steadily promote cross-border RMB business and explore cooperation in financial management. Going forward, China and Singapore will hold regular high-level dialogues between securities regulators, explore regulation and product development collaboration, and enhance capital market cooperation.

7. Strengthen cooperation in transport and info-communications. Both sides will promote closer cooperation in maritime and air transport sectors as well as the info-communications industry. In the framework of China-Singapore civil aviation mechanism, both sides agree to explore the possibility of expanding air rights arrangements in order to strengthen both countries' status as international air hubs, promote increased travel between both sides, further broaden and deepen economic cooperation, and enhance people-to-people linkages.

8. Deepen exchanges and cooperation on social governance. Ensure the success of the Singapore-China Forum on Social Governance to enhance mutual understanding and cooperation among officials on common challenges in social governance.

9. Further promote bilateral cooperation in leadership training and continue to conduct bilateral exchanges and training programs for officials. Explore ways to promote bilateral exchanges and cooperation between training institutions for government officials. Fully implement the consensus reached under the Framework Agreement between the two Governments on the Exchange Programme for Middle- to Senior-Level Officials. Ensure the success of the Singapore-China Forum on Leadership.

10. Enhance cooperation in science and innovation through the joint committee of bilateral innovation cooperation. Carry out all-round cooperation on innovation policies, frontier technology research, industrial technology development, application of research outcomes, and support the industrial development of the two countries. Continue to implement the Sino-Singapore Joint Research Programme and push forward cooperation on these fronts.

11. Strengthen cultural cooperation between China and Singapore. Discuss ways to promote cooperation of cultural industries under the Executive Programme of the Memorandum of Understanding of Cultural Cooperation. Singapore welcomes the establishment of the China Cultural Centre in Singapore.

12. Further promote environmental and water cooperation. Taking reference from the Memoranda of Understanding on water and environmental cooperation between the People's Republic of China and the Republic of Singapore, the two sides will focus on areas such as environmental law enforcement, urban water environment management, collaboration among water and environmental companies, as well as green growth and sustainable financing.

13. Promote communication and cooperation on agriculture and food safety. Strengthen the training of modern agricultural management professionals. Strengthen cooperation in the area of quality inspection. Expand practical cooperation in quality management and safety of exported and imported food.

14. Promote cooperation between the Customs authorities of the two countries on trade facilitation and customs enforcement.

15. Strengthen cooperation on law enforcement and security. Jointly combat transnational crimes such as corruption and money laundering. Both countries should continue to provide strong support on mutual legal assistance matters as well as asset recovery in accordance with their respective laws. Deepen anti-terrorism cooperation and strengthen intelligence and information exchange within both the bilateral and multilateral frameworks. Promote sound and steady development of bilateral defence relations. The two sides shall continue their cooperation in areas such as high-level interactions, institutional consultations, personnel training, joint training, professional exchanges, and multilateral coordination.

16. Continue to explore new areas and models of bilateral educational cooperation and work towards strengthening and making progress in educational exchanges and cooperation between ASEAN and China.

17. Strengthen communication and cooperation on regional and global affairs. China extends its congratulations on the upcoming establishment of the ASEAN Community, and will continue to support the principle of ASEAN centrality in regional architecture, the development of ASEAN and its core and leading role in East Asia cooperation. Singapore became the coordinating country of ASEAN-China relations in August 2015. As next year marks the 25th anniversary of ASEAN-China dialogue relations, China and Singapore will work together with the other ASEAN countries to promote even greater progress in the ASEAN-China strategic partnership, and peace and stability in the region.

18. China welcomes Singapore's early support to become a prospective founding member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and active participation in the drafting of the AIIB's Articles of Agreement. As prospective founding members of the AIIB, China and Singapore, together with other prospective founding members, will work towards the early establishment and operation of the AIIB to provide financial support for infrastructure development and enhance connectivity in the region. Singapore supports the inclusion of the RMB into the IMF's Special Drawing Rights basket of currencies.

19. Strengthen consultation and cooperation on issues of common interest within regional and global mechanisms such as the United Nations, World Trade Organisation, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Asia-Europe Meeting and Asia Cooperation Dialogue to jointly safeguard the prosperity and stability of the region and the world at large.

20. The Joint Statement, which covers various aspects of bilateral cooperation, does not preclude other areas of cooperation as may be jointly determined from time to time by the two sides.