Singapore and China to tighten bilateral relationship

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Vice Foreign Minister of the People’s Republic of China Liu Zhenmin visited Singapore to co-chair the 10th Bilateral Consultations between the Singapore and Chinese Foreign Ministries with Permanent Secretary (PS) for Foreign Affairs Chee Wee Kiong on 17 January 2017.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) stated that the Consultations, started in 1996, are a useful platform for the two Foreign Ministries to discuss bilateral cooperation, ASEAN-China cooperation and exchange views on key regional and global developments.

The Ministry stressed that PS Chee and Vice Foreign Minister Liu reviewed the longstanding and multi-faceted cooperation between Singapore and China. They noted that high-level exchanges were maintained between the two sides in 2016 including Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s meetings with President Xi Jinping (at the G20 Summit in Hangzhou) and Premier Li Keqiang (at the ASEAN Summit in Vientiane).

MFA also mentioned that they also reviewed the good progress of the three Government-to-Government projects between the two sides, including the latest Chongqing Connectivity Initiative.

It said that PS Chee and Vice Foreign Minister Liu also discussed upcoming bilateral exchanges, including the Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation to be held next month, and the China-Singapore Forum on Leadership this year.

PS Chee expressed Singapore’s support for China’s “Belt and Road” initiative, a new area of collaboration which would further build upon Singapore and China’s substantive bilateral ties.

MFA also said that PS Chee and Vice Foreign Minister Liu also discussed strengthening ASEAN-China relations and connectivity, including synergies between the Master Plan for ASEAN Connectivity 2025 and the “Belt and Road” initiative.

"To implement the ASEAN-China Year of Tourism Cooperation in 2017, they requested the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and China National Tourist Administration (CNTA) to collaborate and discuss concrete plans to promote tourism between ASEAN and China," it wrote.

There is no mention if any discussions were made about nine Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles that have been impounded by Hong Kong authorities since November last year.

Permanent Secretary (Foreign Affairs) Chee Wee Kiong and Vice Foreign Minister of the People’s Republic of China Liu Zhenmin tossing a prosperity salad (yusheng) at lunch, 17 January 2017. Vice Foreign Minister Liu is in Singapore for the 10th Bilateral Consultations between the Singapore and Chinese Foreign Ministries (Source : MFA)

Permanent Secretary (Foreign Affairs) Chee Wee Kiong and Vice Foreign Minister of the People’s Republic of China Liu Zhenmin tossing a prosperity salad (yusheng) at lunch, 17 January 2017. Vice Foreign Minister Liu is in Singapore for the 10th Bilateral Consultations between the Singapore and Chinese Foreign Ministries (Source : MFA)