|Xi Jinping Meets with Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong|
On the afternoon of March 31, 2023, President Xi Jinping met with Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who was on an official visit to China, at the Great Hall of the People.
Xi Jinping pointed out that China and Singapore are important partners of cooperation, and China-Singapore relations are forward-looking, strategic and demonstrative, not only giving a strong boost to the development and rejuvenation of the two countries, but also setting a benchmark for countries in the region. China prioritizes Singapore in its neighborhood diplomacy. Xi Jinping said that during Lee Hsien Loong’s visit, the two sides elevated China-Singapore relations to an all-round high-quality future-oriented partnership, charting the course for the future development of bilateral relations. China is ready to strengthen strategic communication with Singapore, deepen strategic alignment, and make “high quality” the most distinct feature of China-Singapore cooperation.
Xi Jinping noted that among the Southeast Asian countries, Singapore has been the most involved in China’s reform and opening up and its interests are most closely integrated with China. China is advancing the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization, China’s economic and social vitality will be further unleashed, and China is ready to share important opportunities with Singapore and other countries that are willing to cooperate with it. China is ready to work with Singapore to continue to make good use of China-Singapore bilateral cooperation mechanism meetings, strengthen the building of the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor, deepen cooperation on digital and green transition and third-party cooperation, and actively and properly advance cross-border travel between both countries.
Xi Jinping pointed out that over the years, Asia has maintained a sound momentum of overall peace and stability, rapid development and overall improvement, and through hard work and wisdom, countries in the region have embarked on a development path with Asian characteristics featuring independence, mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, openness and inclusiveness, and win-win cooperation. Xi Jinping said that against the backdrop of accelerating changes in the world unseen in a century, Asian countries should cherish and maintain the hard-won sound momentum of development in the region, jointly safeguard the peace dividend of the region, maintain the right direction of economic globalization and regional economic integration, and firmly oppose bullying, decoupling or severing industrial and supply chains. No country should be allowed to deprive the people of Asia of their right to pursue a better and happier life.
Lee Hsien Loong said that he was very glad to pay a visit to China once again after several years, and witness that economic vitality has been rapidly restored across China. Lee Hsien Loong expressed his strong confidence in the resilience of the Chinese economy, and also expressed his belief that the Chinese economy will continue to grow in a sound manner. Singapore and other neighboring countries look forward to further deepening economic cooperation with China. Singapore and China have a strong friendship and deep understanding and mutual trust, and bilateral relations have always maintained a sound momentum of development. Singapore looks forward to seeking alignment and communication with the new Chinese government as soon as possible to promote cooperation on major projects such as connectivity, and to take the opportunity of completing the negotiations on upgrading the Singapore-China free trade agreement to send a clear message of China’s continued opening up and Singapore’s commitment to further deepening cooperation with China. He expressed the hope that his visit will inject new vitality into the development of the all-round high-quality future-oriented partnership between Singapore and China and push for more achievements in bilateral cooperation in various fields. Almost all countries in the world recognize that there is only one China in the world and have developed friendly and cooperative relations with China on the basis of the one-China policy. The Taiwan question is China’s internal affair, and touting “Ukraine today, Taiwan tomorrow” will lead to unpredictable and serious consequences. Singapore believes that all countries should respect each other, coexist in peace, pursue mutually beneficial cooperation, avoid conflicts, and jointly respond to risks and challenges. Any competition, if so, should be based on mutual respect and trust, instead of taking indiscriminate measures or picking sides.
The two sides also exchanged in-depth views on major-country relations and international and regional issues of mutual interest and concern.
Wang Yi and Qin Gang, among others, attended the event.