SINGAPORE - The head of China's Parliament has congratulated Mr Tan Chuan-Jin for his election as Speaker of Parliament, saying that he hoped to work with Mr Tan to strengthen ties between Singapore and China.
Mr Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress in Beijing, said on Tuesday (Sept 12): "I would like to extend, on behalf of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China and in my own name, the sincere congratulations and best wishes to you."
Mr Tan was elected as Singapore's 10th Speaker at Monday's Parliament sitting, after he stepped down as Minister for Social and Family Dvelopment to be nominated for the post.
In a letter to Mr Tan, Mr Zhang noted the "sound momentum of development in bilateral relations" between Singapore and China, saying that both countries are close and friendly neighbours.
He added that this was borne out by the frequent high-level exchanges and cooperation in areas such as economy and trade, investment, finance, personal exchange and social governance.
Mr Tan had, during his five years in Cabinet, contributed much to the development of bilateral ties, he said.
"You were always actively promoting the development of China-Singapore relations which I appreciate so much," he added.
"I stand ready to work with you to further strengthen our parliamentary exchanges and cooperation so as to contribute to the continued growth of China-Singapore relations."
Mr Tan took over the role of Speaker from Madam Halimah Yacob, who stepped down from her party and political posts in August to run for the presidential election. She has been declared the only candidate eligible to contest and is set to become Singapore's eighth president.