Vice-Premier Han Zheng (L), also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, meets with Singaporean President Halimah Yacob in Singapore, Sept 21, 2018. [Photo/Xinhua]
SINGAPORE — Vice-Premier Han Zheng met respectively with Singaporean President Halimah Yacob and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Sept 21, pledging to further promote bilateral ties.
Han, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, is in the city-state for a three-day visit starting on Sept 19.
Han said China and Singapore have viewed each other’s development as opportunities for themselves, and innovatively forged a relationship featuring mutual learning as well as being mutually beneficial for a win-win cooperation.
The two countries established an all-around cooperative partnership progressing with the times when President Xi Jinping paid a state visit to Singapore in 2015, ushering the bilateral ties in a new era, said Han.
The leaders from both countries have met several times this year and reached important consensus on bilateral cooperation in the new era, Han added.
He called on both sides to fully implement the consensus, prepare well for following high-level exchanges, enhance strategic communication and top-level planning, set priorities for future cooperation and strengthen cooperation on the Belt and Road construction so as to further advance bilateral ties to progress with the times.
Under the current complicated and changing circumstances, both sides need to intensify coordination on international and regional affairs, jointly address challenges and safeguard common interests, said Han.
Noting Singapore as the rotating chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) this year, which is also the 15th anniversary of forging strategic partnership between China and the ASEAN, Han said China is ready to work with Singapore to take the opportunity to build a closer China-ASEAN community with a shared future and jointly safeguard the rules-based multilateral trading system so as to contribute to regional and global stability and prosperity.
For their part, Halimah and Lee said Singapore-China ties have entered a new stage while the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative has brought great opportunities for all-around pragmatic cooperation.
Both sides need to advance with the times and improve bilateral cooperation, they said.
Singapore stands ready to enhance alignment of development strategies with China, accelerate connectivity construction and explore cooperation in the third-party market, they said.
Singapore is willing to play a constructive role in promoting ASEAN-China ties, they said, adding that the Singapore-China mutually beneficial cooperation will contribute to regional stability and development.
Stressing that international trade should not be a zero-sum game, the Singaporean leaders said Singapore firmly supports free trade and open market, and is willing to jointly safeguard the rules-based multilateral trading system.
During his stay in Singapore, Han also co-chaired four bilateral high-level cooperative meetings with Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean and met with Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam.
Han and Teo visited a monument commemorating late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping as this year marks the 40th anniversary of Deng’s visit to Singapore.