Xi making state visit to S'pore next Friday

China's President Xi Jinping addressing dignitaries at Manchester airport in Britain on Oct 23, 2015.
China's President Xi Jinping addressing dignitaries at Manchester airport in Britain on Oct 23, 2015.PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING • China's President Xi Jinping is making his first state visit to Singapore from Nov 6 to Nov 7, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua news agency yesterday.

Mr Lu Kang told a regular briefing that Mr Xi will be in Singapore after making a similar state visit to Vietnam from Nov 5 to Nov 6.

Mr Xi, who last visited Singapore in 2010 as the vice-president, will be making the trip as part of an exchange of state visits this year - President Tony Tan Keng Yam visited Beijing and Tianjin from June 29 to July 4.

The Chinese leader's visit caps a year-long series of celebrations to mark 25 years of diplomatic ties between China and Singapore.

Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean had announced Mr Xi's visit on Oct 13, as he met Chinese Executive Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli at the annual meeting of the Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC).

Ties between China and Singapore have advanced under Mr Xi since he took power in 2012. He set a precedent by appointing a Politburo Standing Committee member - Mr Zhang - to co-chair the JCBC, which is a top bilateral body.

Mr Xi has also proposed a third joint project in the country's western region.

This is a recognition of Singa-pore's role in meeting China's developmental needs - seen in the earlier projects the Suzhou Industrial Park and Tianjin Eco-City.

Mr Xi's visit could provide breakthroughs on the project and other initiatives.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 30, 2015, with the headline 'Xi making state visit to S'pore next Friday'. Print Edition | Subscribe