PM Lee, DPM Heng congratulate Hong Kong as it marks handover anniversary

Hong Kong's new Chief Executive John Lee (left) and China's President Xi Jinping at the swearing-in ceremony in Hong Kong on July 1. PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat congratulated the leaders of China and Hong Kong on Friday (July 1), as Hong Kong marked the 25th year of its return to Chinese rule.

In a letter to Chinese President Xi Jinping, PM Lee said Hong Kong "has benefitted from and contributed to mainland China's growth and development under the 'one country, two systems' framework".

"With the support of the central government," PM Lee added, "I am confident Hong Kong will continue to thrive in the years ahead and benefit from the many economic opportunities created by its close integration with the mainland". 

PM Lee also said in his letter to Mr Xi that Singapore "shares extensive and substantial ties with mainland China".

"This close partnership between Singapore and China has kept pace with the times. Our cooperation is continually progressing, including on government-to-government and state-level projects," he said.

He added that Singapore has supported China's regional development strategies, including the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area (GBA).

"Our joint projects such as the China-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City and Singapore-China (Shenzhen) Smart City Initiative will contribute to knowledge and innovation-based growth in the GBA," PM Lee said.

He said he was confident Singapore and China "will maintain the strong momentum in our bilateral relations".

"Singapore looks forward to continue working with Hong Kong to create new opportunities for our peoples and enhance the vibrancy of our region," he said.

In a separate letter to Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee, Mr Heng said Hong Kong "has long exemplified the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation".

"It is also a city known for its indomitable perseverance in the face of difficulty. We have seen this in the past 25 years, as time and again, Hong Kong has managed to overcome the challenges before it, and emerge stronger and more resilient," he added.

Mr Heng expressed confidence that under Mr John Lee, and with the central government's strong support, "Hong Kong will enjoy peace, stability, and prosperity, with the 'one country, two systems' as its guiding framework".

"Singapore looks forward to continue growing our partnership with Hong Kong under your leadership, including in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area and the Belt and Road Initiative, for the mutual benefit of our peoples," he told Mr John Lee.

Mr Heng said Singapore and Hong Kong have enjoyed "excellent relations and multi-faceted cooperation, underpinned by high-level exchanges, robust economic links, and close ties between our peoples".

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