Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean was jubilant in expressing his satisfaction in the country’s dealings with China as according to him, “Bilateral relations between China and Singapore have grown from strength to strength in the past year.” He further said that Singapore’s relationship with China has progressed “very well” over the past year and hopes this can be taken further in 2019.
On his six-day visit to China, DPM Teo was welcomed by top Chinese anti-graft official Zhao Leji at the Great Hall of the People where both men reaffirmed the two countries’ “excellent state of bilateral relations.”
They reiterated the advancements made by the three government-to-government projects, as well as the Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City, which is a state-level bilateral cooperation project. Also discussed were ways to further cooperation, including in smart cities development and third-country cooperation in Southeast Asia under the Belt and Road Initiative. They also expressed satisfaction with regards to the cooperation efforts made under the Belt and Road Initiative.
Today (12 April), DPM Teo travels to Suzhou to mark the 25th anniversary of the Suzhou Industrial Park – the first government-to-government project between Singapore and China.
“Progressive and strategic”
The officials from both countries were one in their opinion that Singapore-China relations have been “progressive, forward-looking and strategic,” and they have committed to working closer together in a wide range of areas, from science and technology to trade and culture.
In a joint statement, the two governments their intention to build on the foundations laid by past generations of leaders from both sides and maintain frequent high-level exchanges.
They also vowed to keep to the principles of mutual respect, sovereign equality and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs.
Significantly, Singapore will maintain its consistent “one China” policy.
Another visit, same sentiments
In another visit, the same sentiments were expressed when Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said that ties between Singapore and China are “warm and progressing.”
In a meeting with Chinese Vice-Premier Sun Chunlan, Mr. Tharman pointed to the steady tempo of visits between the two countries, noting that both Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean will also be visiting China.
“Our relationship is not only warm but it is also progressing,” he said in his opening remarks to Madam Sun.