China congratulates new Speaker of Parliament

Mr Tan Chuan-Jin at his first sitting as Singapore's 10th Speaker of Parliament on Sept 11, 2017.
Mr Tan Chuan-Jin at his first sitting as Singapore's 10th Speaker of Parliament on Sept 11, 2017. PHOTO: MCI

The head of China's Parliament has congratulated Mr Tan Chuan-Jin on his election as Speaker of Parliament, saying he hoped to work with Mr Tan to strengthen ties between the two countries.

Mr Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress in Beijing, said in a letter to Mr Tan yesterday: "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, sincere congratulations and best wishes to you."

Mr Tan, the former social and family development minister, was elected Singapore's 10th Speaker on Monday.

Mr Zhang noted in his letter the "sound momentum of development in bilateral relations" between Singapore and China, saying 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, in his five years in the Cabinet, contributed much to the development of bilateral ties, Mr Zhang said.

"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," he said.

Mr Tan took over the role of Speaker from Madam Halimah Yacob, who stepped down from her party and political posts last month to run in the presidential election.

As the sole candidate eligible to contest, Madam Halimah is set to be Singapore's eighth president.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 13, 2017, with the headline 'China congratulates new Speaker of Parliament'. Print Edition | Subscribe