Singapore, China to deepen collaboration on public health, including development of Covid-19 vaccines and treatments

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat with Chinese Vice-Premier Han Zheng in an October 2019 photo. PHOTO: HENG SWEE KEAT/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - Singapore and China will deepen collaboration on public health, including developing Covid-19 vaccines, treatments and diagnostics, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said on Friday (July 31).

This partnership will be a new area of cooperation under the Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC), the highest-level bilateral platform between both countries and jointly chaired by DPM Heng and Chinese Vice-Premier Han Zheng.

"Much has changed since we last spoke in February, as we now face the common challenge of resuming social and economic activities, while safeguarding against further waves of Covid-19 infections," Mr Heng said following a telephone call with Mr Han.

Mr Heng thanked the Vice-Premier for China's pledge to make Chinese vaccines available globally.

The two leaders also discussed the importance of strengthening connectivity between both countries as well as the rest of the world on multiple fronts, including supply chains, finance, infrastructure and flight connectivity.

"This will enable the flow of goods, people and investments that are necessary for economic recovery," Mr Heng said.

The Foreign Ministry said both leaders reaffirmed the strong ties between Singapore and China, which are marking their 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations this year.

They also welcomed the progress that has been made in key bilateral projects despite the Covid-19 pandemic, including government-to-government and state-level projects as well as cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative.

Mr Heng noted: "The strides that we have taken reflect our common resolve to overcome the pandemic together and emerge stronger."

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