SINGAPORE - Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen met the leader of the Chinese delegation at this year's Shangri-La Dialogue on Friday (June 2), as Singapore and China reaffirm "the warm and friendly bilateral defence relationship", which has steadily progressed over the years.
Dr Ng met Lieutenant-General (LG) He Lei, vice president of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Academy of Military Sciences, on the sidelines of the annual international gathering of defence and security officials. LG He is leading the Chinese delegation, comprising several senior PLA officials.
At their meeting, Dr Ng and LG He re-emphasised the value of the four-point consensus agreed in 2014 between Dr Ng and Chinese Minister of National Defence General Chang Wanquan, and agreed to further strengthen bilateral defence cooperation, said the Ministry of Defence in a statement.
Under the four-point consensus, both sides pledged to boost their defence relationship, based on mutual respect and accommodating each other's security concerns for mutual trust. They also agreed to enhance dialogue and mutual understanding through regular high-level meetings and strategic consultation, promote confidence-building and mutual trust through practical cooperation, such as joint training exercises, as well as deepen their friendship through increased exchanges and dialogues between both militaries.
On Friday, Dr Ng and LG He also acknowledged the importance of China's role in the Asia-Pacific, and China's involvement in the regional security architecture through platforms such as the Shangri-La Dialogue, Asean Defence Ministers' Meeting-Plus and the Xiangshan Forum.
LG He, who is also the Secretary-General of the Secretariat of the Xiangshan Forum, invited Dr Ng to participate in the 2018 edition of the forum.
He will also be meeting Permanent Secretary for Defence, Mr Chan Yeng Kit, and other senior officials from the Ministry of Defence and Singapore Armed Forces during the forum this weekend.