PM meets top Chinese leaders, discusses areas for tie-ups

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing yesterday. Mr Xi noted that next year will mark the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Singapore, and there will be
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing yesterday. Mr Xi noted that next year will mark the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Singapore, and there will be new opportunities to develop bilateral relations.PHOTO: MCI

PM Lee and President Xi also take stock of 'good progress' in three inter-govt projects

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong met Chinese President Xi Jinping and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang separately yesterday and discussed the progress of governmental collaboration projects and other areas where they can work together.

They also exchanged views on regional and global developments, including relations between China and the United States, as well as the early conclusion of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), said PM Lee's press secretary in a statement.

The RCEP is a free trade agreement between the 10 Asean member states and six other Asia-Pacific nations, including China.

Negotiations have stretched for more than six years but are expected to be sewn up this year.

One project which Mr Xi and PM Lee discussed was to twin Singapore and Shenzhen as smart cities under the Asean Smart Cities Network, and as part of Singapore's broader engagement of the Greater Bay Area, China's ambitious plan to link its Guangdong province with Hong Kong and Macau to become an economic powerhouse.

The two leaders also took stock of the "good progress" made in the three inter-governmental projects: China-Singapore Suzhou Industrial Park, Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city and China-Singapore (Chongqing) Demonstration Initiative on Strategic Connectivity.

Mr Xi noted that next year will mark the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Singapore, and bilateral relations now face new opportunities for development.

Meanwhile, the two leaders reaffirmed their countries' multifaceted cooperation guided by the Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation, which meets annually.

 
 
 

State news agency Xinhua reported Mr Xi as saying both countries should continue to deepen mutual trust, respect each other's core interests and concerns, and support each other on the road of common development.

PM Lee was in Beijing to attend the second Belt and Road Forum, along with nearly 40 other leaders from various countries.

Singapore has been an early supporter of Mr Xi's signature foreign policy campaign, and has partnerships with China in four areas under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

These are infrastructure connectivity, financial services, joint collaboration to help other BRI countries, as well as cross-border commercial dispute resolution.

With Mr Li, PM Lee witnessed the signing of five agreements on trade, law enforcement and the BRI.

PM Lee and Mrs Lee were hosted to lunch by Mr Li and his wife Cheng Hong.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 30, 2019, with the headline 'PM meets top Chinese leaders, discusses areas for tie-ups'. Print Edition | Subscribe