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China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi meets Singapore DPM Heng, Minister Balakrishnan on first day of visit

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi meets Singapore DPM Heng, Minister Balakrishnan on first day of visit

Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat and China’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi at the Treasury on Sep 13, 2021. (Photo: Ministry of Communications and Information, Singapore)

SINGAPORE: China’s Foreign Affairs Minister Wang Yi called on Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat and met Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan on Monday (Sep 13), the first day of his working visit to Singapore.

During their meeting, Mr Wang and Mr Heng “noted the excellent relationship between Singapore and China, and the progress made in deepening cooperation, even amidst the disruptions caused by COVID-19”, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said in a news release.

They also looked forward to the upcoming 17th Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation this year, which will be co-chaired by Mr Heng and China’s Vice Premier of the State Council Han Zheng, MFA added.

“The JCBC will facilitate discussions on cooperation in areas such as trade and investment, finance, the digital economy, public health, and sustainable development, and chart the way forward for new areas of cooperation,” the ministry said.

In a Facebook post, Mr Heng highlighted the importance of exchanges like the JCBC as countries "navigate a more uncertain and complex future".

Mr Wang also met with Dr Balakrishnan, where they discussed “ways to further strengthen relations”.

This includes sustaining high‑level exchanges and advancing cooperation on Singapore’s Government-to-Government projects with China in Suzhou, Tianjin, and Chongqing, as well as exploring new areas of cooperation such as the digital economy.

They “looked forward to the early entry into force of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which has been ratified by both Singapore and China”.

Dr Balakrishnan also welcomed China’s interest in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, MFA said.

“They also exchanged views on regional and international developments, including ways to deepen cooperation between ASEAN and China, in conjunction with the 30th anniversary of ASEAN-China dialogue relations this year.”

Mr Wang is on a two-day visit to Singapore and will call on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Tuesday.

Singapore is the third stop in his tour of Southeast Asia, which also included Vietnam and Cambodia. He will visit South Korea after departing Singapore.

Source: CNA/ga(ac)

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