China, US congratulate new Singapore President Halimah Yacob

Madam Halimah Yacob taking her oath of office while flanked by PM Lee Hsien Loong and Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon, on Sept 14, 2017. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

China and the United States on Thursday (Sept 14) congratulated Singapore's former Parliament Speaker Halimah Yacob's rise to become the Republic's first female president.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying said China attaches great importance to relations with Singapore, an important member of the Asean bloc, according to state news agency Xinhua.

It reported Ms Hua as saying China is ready to work with Singapore to develop the partnership of all-round cooperation in keeping with the times.

Madam Halimah, 63, was inaugurated in a televised ceremony as Singapore's eighth president on Thursday (Sept 14) at the Istana.

She is also the country's first Malay president in 47 years and the first Malay to be elected president since it became an elected office in 1991.

In a congratulatory letter released on Thursday (Sept 14), the US said it shares a strong and time-honoured strategic partnership with Singapore.

"We look forward to working together and continuing our cooperation on our shared interests in the region and worldwide," it said.

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