Singapore, China to deepen ties through multiple bilateral cooperation forums

Singapore and China will hold a Joint Council for bilateral cooperation in February.

Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China September 4, 2016. Reuters

Singapore and China will hold a Joint Council for bilateral cooperation in February, and a Forum on Leadership is in the works as well, scheduled for later this year.

On Tuesday, China's Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin met Singapore's Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs Chee Wee Kiong in Singapore and discussed the upcoming bilateral exchanges. The Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) posted on its website that the two countries had co-chaired the 10th Bilateral Consultations between the Singapore and Chinese foreign ministries.

Both the leaders "reviewed the longstanding and multi-faceted cooperation between Singapore and China" during their meeting. According to MFA, the two sides noted that their high-level exchanges were maintained in 2016. These exchanges also include Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 Summit in Hangzhou and also the meeting with Premier Li Keqiang at the ASEAN Summit in Vientiane.

The ministry said Liu and Chee reviewed the good progress of both the sides' government-to-government projects, including the latest Chongqing Connectivity Initiative.

Chee also said Singapore is willing to support China on its "One Belt, One Road" initiative. The new initiative is a new area of collaboration that would further build upon the substantive bilateral ties of both the nations.

They also discussed the strengthening ASEAN-China relations and connectivity, "including synergies between the Master Plan for ASEAN Connectivity 2025 and the 'Belt and Road' initiative".

The Singapore Tourism Board and China National Tourist Administration were also requested to "collaborate and discuss concrete plans to promote tourism between ASEAN and China". This is a major step as a part of the ASEAN-China Year of Tourism Cooperation in 2017.