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Li Qiang Holds Talks with Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong

2023-04-01 22:00

On the morning of April 1, 2023, Premier Li Qiang of the State Council held talks with Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who was on an official visit to China, at the Great Hall of the People.

Li Qiang said that Mr. Lee Hsien Loong is an old friend of the Chinese people and one of the first foreign leaders he received after taking office as Premier of the State Council, fully demonstrating the great importance China and Singapore attach to bilateral relations. President Xi Jinping and Mr. Prime Minister had a comprehensive exchange of views on the development of China-Singapore relations in the new era and upgraded bilateral relations to “all-round high-quality future-oriented partnership”. China stands ready to work with Singapore to make “high quality” the most distinct feature of China-Singapore cooperation, and lift China-Singapore relations and practical cooperation to a new high, so as to bring more benefits to the two peoples and inject more positive energy into regional and global peace, stability, development and prosperity.

Li Qiang pointed out that China and Singapore need to enhance the “overall guidance” of bilateral cooperation, give full play to the role of the bilateral cooperation mechanism at the vice-premier level, and take the substantive conclusion of the China-Singapore Free Trade Agreement Work Programme for Subsequent Negotiations as an opportunity to facilitate a higher-level two-way opening-up and a higher-standard alignment of economic, trade and investment policies. The two sides need to enhance the “innovation driving force” of cooperation, tap into the new potential of cooperation in various fields including digital economy, artificial intelligence and e-commerce, and build a “whole chain” cooperation model featuring personnel training and exchanges, incubation of high-tech enterprises, joint research and development, and implementation of industrial cooperation, so as to improve and upgrade major cooperation projects between the two countries. The two sides need to enhance the “demonstration driving force” of cooperation, enhance the role of the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor as the hub of the industrial and supply chains in the region, and build an international platform through bilateral cooperation to help boost the economic recovery of countries in the region. China is ready to deepen cooperation with Singapore in education, culture and tourism, public health and other areas to bring personnel exchanges back to normal at an early date.

Li Qiang said that China always regards ASEAN as a priority in its neighborhood diplomacy and firmly supports ASEAN centrality. China stands ready to work with Singapore and other ASEAN countries to focus on development and cooperation, advance preparations for the further enhancement of the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area (ACFTA 3.0), promote regional economic integration, and build a closer community with a shared future. China and Singapore have always been staunch defenders of economic globalization and multilateralism. China stands ready to work with Singapore to resist attempts to politicize and overstretch the concept of national security on economic issues, jointly maintain stable and unimpeded international industrial and supply chains, and uphold the multilateral trading system with the World Trade Organization (WTO) at its core.

Lee Hsien Loong said that Singapore and China enjoy extensive and in-depth friendly cooperation and profound mutual trust. Singapore-China “all-round high-quality future-oriented partnership” not only reflects the nature of Singapore-China cooperation, but also embodies the benefits brought to the two peoples, and points out the strategic direction for the development of bilateral relations. Singapore is ready to work with China to make full use of the bilateral cooperation mechanism at the vice-premier level, expand cooperation in such fields as finance, digital economy, green development, food security and sustainable urban development, deepen synergy between the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor and the Belt and Road Initiative, strengthen cultural and people-to-people exchanges, and set a new example for bilateral and regional cooperation, so as to constantly bring bilateral relations to new heights in keeping with the times. China is one of ASEAN’s partners featuring the most in-depth and substantive cooperation. ASEAN countries all support developing relations with China and hope to seize the opportunity of China’s post-pandemic economic recovery and continued opening up to increase cooperation with China. Singapore welcomes and supports China’s efforts to join the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, and stands ready to strengthen cooperation with China to jointly uphold WTO rules and maintain a fair, open and inclusive international trading system.

After the talks, Li Qiang and Lee Hsien Loong witnessed the signing of a number of bilateral cooperation documents on economy and trade, science and technology, food, law, environmental protection and art.

Before the talks, Li Qiang held a welcome ceremony for Lee Hsien Loong at the North Hall of the Great Hall of the People. Qin Gang and others were present at the event.

During Lee Hsien Loong’s visit to China, China and Singapore issued the Joint Announcement Between the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Singapore on the Establishment of an All-Round High-Quality Future-Oriented Partnership.

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