Speaking at the Chinese Executive Leadership Academy Pudong (CELAP), one of the top four party schools in China, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat underscored the significance of the China-US conflict scenario not just to Singapore but to the whole world as well.
In a speech delivered in Mandarin in China on Sunday, May 26, Heng said that “The China-US relationship is the most important bilateral relationship in the world. Competition is inevitable, as each nation strives to safeguard her interests and create a better life for her people.”
Heng cited two important aspects about competition between nations one is constructive wherein innovation can be spurred and eventually serve as a driving force towards progress. The other one is disruptive where countries are led to unnecessary conflict and rivalry.
In his speech, Mr. Heng offered three principles of governance in response to the global structural shifts of protectionist sentiments, technological disruptions to jobs, and demographic change. These three principles are:
1) being adaptable to change;
2) being bold in planning for the long-term;
3) and strengthening international cooperation in areas of common concern.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan, Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry & Education Chee Hong Tat, Senior Minister of State for Law & Health Edwin Tong, and Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs & Trade and Industry Tan Wu Meng were part of the delegation.
In the 8-day visit to China, Mr. Heng met with Premier Li Keqiang and Vice Premier Han Zheng, two of the seven members of the Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party in China (CPC). Li and Han are among the most senior leaders in China.
His official trip to China included visits to the major Chinese cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hong Kong.
Heng’s other one-on-one appointments were also with the top leader of Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, namely the Secretaries of the CPC in the city.