Many avenues for Singapore, China to build on ties: DPM Teo Chee Hean

BEIJING • There are many opportunities for Singapore and China to further broaden and deepen bilateral cooperation, particularly as China embarks on its next phase of development, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said in an op-ed published in China's Contemporary World Magazine yesterday.

"Singapore and China can build upon our extensive bilateral cooperation through our three government-to-government projects as well as the seven provincial business councils," wrote Mr Teo, noting that the two countries will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the iconic China-Singapore Suzhou Industrial Park this year.

In the op-ed, titled Singapore-China Friendship: Moving Forward Hand-in-Hand From Generation To Generation, Mr Teo also highlighted plans to establish the Singapore-Shanghai Comprehensive Cooperation Council.

The council will enable Singapore to further contribute to and participate in the development of the Yangtze River Delta region.

"We are also embarking on new initiatives in legal and judicial cooperation for commercial transactions, building on our strong mutual trust and the forward-looking nature of our relationship," he wrote in the op-ed, made available by the Ministry of Communications and Information.

Mr Teo asserted that in the current digital and technological age, Singapore and China can complement their respective efforts in adopting innovative new technology to improve the lives of their peoples and explore greater cooperation in smart cities development.

He said he would be meeting Mr Chen Xi, member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and Minister of the Central Organisation Department, to co-chair the Singapore-China Forum on Leadership on Sunday.

 
 
 
 
 

This would be the seventh in the series, which was inaugurated in 2009.

Mr Teo said he would be bringing several of Singapore's next-generation ministers along with him, including the new Minister in Charge of the Civil Service and concurrently Minister for Trade and Industry, Mr Chan Chun Sing. He will be the Singapore deputy co-chairman of the forum this year.

"These forums are part of the longstanding, broad and deep cooperation between Singapore and China since our special friendship was established between our senior leaders, Mr Deng Xiaoping and Mr Lee Kuan Yew, in the 1970s. 2018 was the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening up," Mr Teo wrote.

He also pointed out that Singaporeans were heartened that the government of China conferred the Reform and Friendship Award on Singapore's founding prime minister, Mr Lee, to recognise and appreciate Mr Lee and Singapore's contributions to China's reform and opening up.

"As we head into the 30th anniversary of the establishment of formal bilateral relations in 2020, Singapore and China will continue to build on the strong foundation laid by our senior leaders of an earlier generation to foster a closer friendship and deeper cooperation between our future generations," wrote Mr Teo.

"Together, we can continue to work hand in hand to overcome common challenges and streng-then our bilateral cooperation to better serve the interests of our two peoples for generations to come."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 08, 2019, with the headline 'Many avenues for Singapore, China to build on ties: DPM Teo'. Print Edition | Subscribe