SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has extended his deepest condolences to China after the death of former Chinese premier Li Peng.
Mr Li died of illness in Beijing on Monday (Jul 22), aged 90, state broadcaster Xinhua said.
In a letter to Premier Li Keqiang, Mr Lee noted the former premier’s role in building ties between Singapore and China.
“Mr Li was the first Chinese premier to visit Singapore,” he said. “He promoted cooperation between Singapore and China in many areas ranging from economics to culture to education.
“He also witnessed key milestones in our bilateral relations, especially the launch of the China-Singapore Suzhou Industrial Park, our first government-to-government project.”
Mr Li also played an important role in strengthening relations and cooperation between China and ASEAN, Mr Lee added.
"Under Mr Li’s leadership, China established diplomatic relations with many ASEAN member states, and the ASEAN-China dialogue partnership," the Prime Minister said.
"This laid the ground for the close cooperation between ASEAN and China today."
Mr Lee also lauded the former premier's achievements as a leader of his country.
"Mr Li had served in senior leadership positions during a time of rapid economic and social change and great challenges for China," Mr Lee said.
"Under his leadership in the early 1990s, China experienced dramatic economic development, as it implemented the policy of reforming and opening up, improving the lives of millions of Chinese people."
“Mr Li will be deeply remembered. Our thoughts are with the people of China," the Prime Minister added.