China's Foreign Minister meets DPM Heng, Vivian

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who is here on a two-day working visit, called on Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat and met Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan yesterday.

At their meetings, the leaders noted the strong ties and cooperation between their two countries amid the pandemic.

Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said Mr Heng and Mr Wang noted the excellent relationship between Singapore and China, and the progress made in deepening cooperation, even amid the disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

They also looked forward to the upcoming 17th Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation this year, which will be co-chaired by Mr Heng and Chinese Vice-Premier Han Zheng.

The council will facilitate discussions on cooperation in areas such as trade and investment, finance, the digital economy, public health and sustainable development, and chart the way forward for new areas of cooperation, said MFA.

Meanwhile, Dr Balakrishnan and Mr Wang reaffirmed the strong ties between their countries and discussed ways to further strengthen relations.

These included sustaining high-level exchanges, advancing cooperation on Singapore's government-to-government projects with China in Suzhou, Tianjin and Chongqing, as well as exploring new areas of cooperation such as the digital economy.

Both ministers also looked forward to the early entry into force of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which has been ratified by both Singapore and China. The RCEP is the world's largest trade pact, and brings together all 10 Asean members as well as the grouping's key partners Australia, China, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand.

Dr Balakrishnan also welcomed China's interest in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. The trade pact brings together 11 countries from both sides of the Pacific, seven of which are also in the RCEP.

The foreign ministers exchanged views on regional and international developments, including ways to deepen cooperation between Asean and China, in conjunction with the 30th anniversary of Asean-China dialogue relations this year.

Mr Wang will call on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong today.

The visit is part of Mr Wang's six-day trip to four countries in the region that started last Friday. He was in Vietnam and Cambodia, and will travel to South Korea next.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 14, 2021, with the headline 'China's Foreign Minister meets DPM Heng, Vivian'. Subscribe