Tests ahead as Singapore 4G team seeks 'new peaks' with China

How leaders from both nations handle fundamental differences is key as Beijing's clout grows

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat (second from right) together with some of the 4G cohort of ministers, including Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee and Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information Sim Ann, meeti
Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat (second from right) together with some of the 4G cohort of ministers, including Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee and Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information Sim Ann, meeting China's Vice-Premier Liu He (second from left) in Beijing, China, on Oct 17, for talks. This is Mr Heng's first outing as co-chair of the Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation meeting.PHOTO: HENG SWEE KEAT/FACEBOOK

BEIJING • At the recent apex bilateral cooperation meeting between Singapore and China, new co-chair Heng Swee Keat brought along nine of his colleagues, all part of the fourth-generation cohort of politicians.

It was a sure sign of the island-state's leadership transition projected overseas, as Mr Heng sought to introduce his team collectively to China's leaders ahead of a likely general election in the first half of next year.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 24, 2019, with the headline 'Tests ahead as S'pore 4G team seeks 'new peaks' with China'. Print Edition | Subscribe