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Chinese, Singaporean FMs vow to set up green channel for personnel exchanges, supplies delivery

Updated: Apr 30,2020 08:41 AM    Xinhua

BEIJING — China is willing to strengthen coordination with Singapore to explore the establishment of "green channel" for personnel exchanges and emergency supplies delivery, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on April 28 in a telephone conversation with his Singaporean counterpart Vivian Balakrishnan.

Noting that Singapore had offered support and help when China was in the depth of the COVID-19 outbreak, Wang said as Singapore is facing new epidemic challenges, China will continue to provide it with medical supplies and offer conveniences to Singapore in the process of inspection, quarantine and customs clearance.

As this year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of China-Singapore diplomatic relations, the two countries should maintain political mutual trust and push for the better development of bilateral ties, Wang said.

He said it is reassuring that Singapore has in recent days effectively contained a further spread of the disease with decisive anti-epidemic measures, adding that he believes under the leadership of Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, the country will win a complete victory against the virus in the end.

Noting that there are a large number of Chinese nationals studying and working in Singapore, Wang said the Chinese government cares much about their health and safety, and believes that Singapore will provide them with timely testing and treatment, and safeguard their lawful rights and interests.

China stands ready to enhance coordination with Singapore to explore the establishment of an "express line" to ensure the necessary exchanges between the two peoples, and a "green channel" to guarantee the fast and convenient delivery of much-needed medical supplies, Wang said.

As epidemic prevention and control becomes a regular practice, the two countries should not only cherish their accomplishments already achieved in the anti-coronavirus fight and prevent a resurgence of the epidemic, but also secure positive economic cycles in East Asia and smooth functioning of industrial and supply chains, Wang said, adding it is in line with the common interests of all East Asian countries, including China and Singapore.

Noting that leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, China, Japan and South Korea (ASEAN Plus Three, or APT) have successfully held a special meeting on combating COVID-19 and reached important consensus, Wang said that all parties should fully implement the outcomes of the meeting, and that foreign ministers from the APT should hold an extraordinary conference as soon as possible.

For his part, Balakrishnan said that a friend in need is a friend indeed, and that Singapore expresses deep gratitude to China, which, as a trusted friend, has showed solidarity with Singapore and offered a helping hand without hesitation.

It is admirable that China successfully coped with the challenges posed by COVID-19 and pushed ahead with the resumption of production and work, which brings hope to the world in defeating the pandemic, Balakrishnan said.

Singapore is currently dealing with a new wave of infections, and has attached great importance to the health and safety of Chinese nationals in the country, with effective measures already in place to safeguard their legitimate rights and interests, he said.

The country will adhere to the one-China policy and allow no changes on this matter of principle, he said.

Balakrishnan said Singapore stands ready to actively promote the building of an "express line" for people-to-people exchanges and a "green channel" for the transportation of medical supplies between the two countries.

The two sides should work on the coordination of the standards for COVID-19 testing reagents and secure smooth industrial and supply chains, so as to set an example for ASEAN countries, APT countries and even the rest of the world, he said.

Singapore is also willing to join hands with China to uphold multilateralism and remove trade barriers, so as to safeguard the global free trade system with the World Trade Organization at its core, he stressed, adding the country agrees to hold an APT foreign ministers' meeting as soon as possible to promote the implementation of the consensus reached at the leaders' meeting.

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