Singapore to forge stronger Asean-China cooperation: PM

PM Lee with Premier Li and (at right, from third left) Singapore Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen, Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan and Minister in the PMO Chan Chun Sing. Mr Li is accompanied by (at left, from third l
PM Lee with Premier Li and (at right, from third left) Singapore Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen, Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan and Minister in the PMO Chan Chun Sing. Mr Li is accompanied by (at left, from third left) Commerce Minister Zhong Shan, National Development and Reform Commission chairman He Lifeng, Housing and Urban-Rural Development Minister Wang Menghui and Vice-Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing yesterday.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing yesterday.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Singapore will promote stronger Asean-China cooperation during its chairmanship of the regional grouping next year, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said at a meeting with Premier Li Keqiang yesterday, the first day of his visit to China.

Both leaders touched on Asean-China ties, and affirmed the progress made during Singapore's ongoing tenure as country coordinator for Asean-China dialogue relations, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said after the meeting.

"Premier Li expressed support for Singapore's Asean chairmanship in 2018," the PMO added.

Mr Li said he hoped Singapore would help to bring new vitality to Asean-China ties.

PM Lee said he was glad for the opportunity for both sides to discuss how to work together for the regional context and for Asean, and hoped Singapore can make a contribution to bring Asean and China closer together.

Yesterday, PM Lee received a ceremonial welcome from Premier Li before their meeting at the Great Hall of the People.

They discussed regional developments, and expressed their deep concern over the heightening tensions on the Korean peninsula.

Mr Li also accepted PM Lee's invitation to visit Singapore at the earliest mutually convenient time.

At the meeting were Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen, Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Chan Chun Sing and Parliamentary Secretary Amrin Amin.

 

Mr Li was joined by National Development and Reform Commission chairman He Lifeng, Housing and Urban-Rural Development Minister Wang Menghui, Commerce Minister Zhong Shan and Vice-Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui.

PM Lee said in a Facebook post after a banquet last night that the meeting was "fruitful", adding: "Will do our best to bring Asean and China closer together."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 20, 2017, with the headline 'Singapore to forge stronger Asean-China cooperation: PM'. Print Edition | Subscribe