Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen meets second-ranked Chinese defence official

Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen called on General Xu Qiliang, vice-chairman of the powerful Central Military Commission, at the People's Liberation Army Bayi Building in Beijing.
Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen called on General Xu Qiliang, vice-chairman of the powerful Central Military Commission, at the People's Liberation Army Bayi Building in Beijing.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/NG ENG HEN

BEIJING - Singapore's Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen met China's second-ranking defence official on Friday (Oct 26), capping off a five-day visit to China.

He called on General Xu Qiliang, vice-chairman of the powerful Central Military Commission (CMC), at the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Bayi Building in Beijing, where both men discussed deepening military cooperation.

"It was an entirely fulfilling exchange," said Dr Ng in a Facebook post after the meeting.

The seven-member CMC, which is headed by President Xi Jinping, is the top body overseeing the PLA.

Gen Xu is one of two vice-chairmen of the CMC, with the other being Gen Zhang Youxia. He ranks second on the military hierarchy, behind Mr Xi and ahead of Chinese defence minister Wei Fenghe.

In his post, Dr Ng said Gen Xu had called for a stepping up and deepening of military engagements across all services of the PLA and the Singapore Armed Forces.

"I responded that this was indeed what State Councillor and Minister of National Defence General Wei Fenghe and I had agreed to do - to build strategic trust," said Dr Ng.

 
 
 
 

He met Gen Wei on Wednesday, when he arrived in Beijing from Guangdong province.

On Thursday, Dr Ng also attended the Xiangshan Forum, a security conference, where he delivered a speech at a session on international security governance.

His trip also included a visit to Zhanjiang in Guangdong to survey the Asean-China Maritime Exercise, a joint-drill organised by Singapore and China involving over 1,000 personnel from all 10 Asean nations and China.

"It has been a productive trip that I hope will further strengthen Singapore's military cooperation with China," wrote Dr Ng.

He leaves China for Singapore on Friday.