Singapore leaders congratulate China on 70th anniversary of founding

Singapore leaders congratulate China on 70th anniversary of founding

Halimah Yacob
Chinese President Xi Jinping (right) shakes hands with Singapore's President Halimah Yacob at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on May 14, 2019. (JASON LEE/POOL/AFP)

SINGAPORE: President Halimah Yacob and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong have written to their Chinese counterparts to congratulate them on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

In her letter to President Xi Jinping on Tuesday (Oct 1), Mdm Halimah said that China has undergone “phenomenal transformation” over the last 70 years, overcoming many challenges to achieve rapid economic growth and improve people’s lives.

“As China continues to reform and open up, its growth and development will benefit not only the people of China but also our region and the world,” she added.

Mdm Halimah also noted the “excellent relations” between Singapore and China, citing the three government-to-government projects – in Suzhou, Tianjin and Chongqing.

“As Singapore and China celebrate 30 years of diplomatic relations next year, I am confident that we will build on the foundation of the strong ties between our two countries to further strengthen our bilateral cooperation in the years to come,” she wrote, adding that she looks forward to her state visit to China next year.

In his letter to Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Mr Lee praised China’s “remarkable transformation” in the past seven decades.

“You have lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty, raised their living standards and created new opportunities for them to fulfil their aspirations,” he wrote.

“China also plays a vital role on the international stage, including in promoting regional stability and prosperity, climate change and sustainable development.”

The “excellent relations” between Singapore and China are built on a foundation of strong people-to-people ties and frequent high-level exchanges, Mr Lee said.

“Generations of our leaders have had close working relationships. Our robust economic ties have been further strengthened by the upgrade of the China-Singapore Free Trade Agreement last year,” he added.

“As you mark this important occasion, I wish the People’s Republic of China many more years of peace, progress and prosperity.”

Mdm Halimah's and Mr Lee’s letters are reproduced in full below:

Congratulatory message from President Halimah Yacob to President Xi Jinping

Oct 1, 2019

His Excellency Xi Jinping

President

People’s Republic of China

Your Excellency,

On behalf of the people of the Republic of Singapore, I convey my warmest congratulations to you on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

China has undergone a phenomenal transformation over the last 70 years, overcoming many challenges to achieve rapid economic growth and uplift its people’s livelihoods. China has also become an important partner on the global stage in areas including international trade, climate change and sustainable development. As China continues to reform and open up, its growth and development will benefit not only the people of China but also our region and the world.

Singapore and China enjoy excellent relations that have continued to deepen and progress over time. Our three Government-to-Government projects have continued to advance. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the China-Singapore Suzhou Industrial Park, and we commemorated the 10th anniversary of the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city last year. The China-Singapore (Chongqing) Demonstration Initiative on Strategic Connectivity (CCI)-New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor has developed into an important platform to enhance connectivity between China’s Western Region and Southeast Asia. Singapore is also supporting China’s regional development strategies such as in the Yangtze River Delta and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area through initiatives such as the Singapore-Shanghai Comprehensive Cooperation Council, the China-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City, and smart cities twinning between Singapore and Shenzhen.

Our two countries are pursuing cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative through the four platforms of infrastructural connectivity, financial connectivity, third party collaboration, as well as professional services, including legal and judicial cooperation.

Singapore and China share a common interest to promote free trade. Singapore looks forward to working closely with China and other ASEAN Member States to advance cooperation between ASEAN and China to further enhance regional peace and prosperity.

As Singapore and China celebrate 30 years of diplomatic relations next year, I am confident that we will build on the foundation of the strong ties between our two countries to further strengthen our bilateral cooperation in the years to come. I wish the People’s Republic of China continued peace, stability and prosperity. My husband and I look forward to meeting you and Madam Peng Liyuan again in Beijing when we make a State Visit to China next year.

Yours sincerely,

HALIMAH YACOB

Congratulatory message from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to Premier Li Keqiang

Oct 1, 2019

His Excellency Li Keqiang

Premier of the State Council

People’s Republic of China

Dear Premier Li,

On behalf of the Government of the Republic of Singapore, I warmly congratulate you on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

This is a momentous occasion, and an opportunity to reflect on the remarkable transformation China has made over the past seven decades. Today, China is the world’s second largest economy. You have lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty, raised their living standards, and created new opportunities for them to fulfil their aspirations. China also plays a vital role on the international stage, including in promoting regional stability and prosperity, climate change and sustainable development.

Singapore and China enjoy excellent relations, built on a foundation of strong people-to-people ties and frequent high-level exchanges. Generations of our leaders have had close working relationships. Our robust economic ties have been further strengthened by the upgrade of the China-Singapore Free Trade Agreement last year. I am very happy that our three Government-to-Government projects have made substantial progress. We have also achieved substantial results through our four platforms of bilateral cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative, namely infrastructural connectivity, financial connectivity, third party collaboration, as well as professional services, including legal and judicial cooperation.

In addition, we have been strengthening mutually beneficial cooperation in support of China’s regional development strategies. The newly established Singapore-Shanghai Comprehensive Cooperation Council is a key platform for Singapore to support the development of the Yangtze River Delta Region. Meanwhile, the upgraded China-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City and smart cities twinning between Singapore and Shenzhen will complement the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

Singapore has also worked well with China in regional and multilateral fora, including in promoting closer ASEAN-China cooperation. We look forward to the expeditious conclusion of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, which will signal our strong commitment towards free trade and promoting regional development. 

As you mark this important occasion, I wish the People’s Republic of China many more years of peace, progress and prosperity. I also look forward to our commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of our diplomatic relations next year. It will be an opportunity to further enhance our friendship and take it to new heights.

Please accept my best wishes for your good health and continued success.

Yours sincerely,

LEE HSIEN LOONG

Source: CNA

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