SINGAPORE – Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will make a week-long official visit to China starting on Monday to meet its top leaders, including President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Qiang.
PM Lee will also give a speech at the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference in Hainan and meet Singaporeans in Guangdong on his first trip to China since the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said on Sunday that he will visit Guangzhou in Guangdong province, Boao in Hainan and Beijing at the invitation of Mr Li from Monday to Saturday.
In Beijing, PM Lee is scheduled to meet Mr Xi and Mr Li, who will host a welcome ceremony and a lunch banquet, said PMO.
PM Lee will also meet National People’s Congress chairman Zhao Leji, Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference chairman Wang Huning and Beijing party secretary Yin Li.
In Hainan, PM Lee will attend an official lunch hosted by Mr Li for foreign leaders attending the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference, which hosts discussions among government officials, business leaders and academia. PM Lee will also meet Hainan party secretary Feng Fei.
In Guangdong, PM Lee will meet and be hosted to lunch by Guangdong party secretary Huang Kunming, as well as meet Singaporeans there.
PM Lee’s last visit to China was in April 2019 when he attended the second Belt and Road Forum in Beijing.
This will be his first trip there since China refreshed its top leadership line-up, following the 20th party congress in October 2022 and the annual parliamentary meetings in March, known as the Two Sessions.
PM Lee will be accompanied by Mrs Lee, Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, Trade and Industry Minister Gan Kim Yong, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung, Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and National Development Sim Ann, and Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Law Rahayu Mahzam.
Officials from the PMO, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Trade and Industry will also be part of the delegation.
High-level visits between officials from both countries have resumed since late 2022.
China’s then vice-premier Han Zheng visited Singapore in November for an annual top-level meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat.
Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen visited Xi’an later in November and met his counterpart Wei Fenghe. Dr Balakrishnan made a three-day visit to Beijing in February, where he met his counterpart Qin Gang.
In PM Lee’s absence, Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong will be Acting PM from Monday to Tuesday. Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean will be Acting PM from Wednesday to Saturday.