PM Lee to attend Beijing's Belt and Road Forum for the first time

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Prime Minister Lee Hsein Loong will head to Beijing to attend the second Belt and Road forum on Thursday, April 25, on Singapore's role in the Belt and Road Initiative.

Mr Lee will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping and 40 other key leaders, including Russia's president Vladimir Putin, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad at the event.

This will be his first visit to the summit.

The Belt and Road initiative is a Chinese development policy aimed at bringing back ancient land and sea trade routes, and connect China to Europe, Africa and other parts of Asia by building a network of ports, roads, railways and industrial hubs.

On Friday, he will address the gathering and later attend a welcome banquet being hosted for leaders and their spouses by President Xi and his wife, Peng Liyuan.

The next day he will attend a round table conference chaired by President Xi at Yanqi Lake. He will also have bilateral meetings with other leaders during the summit.

On the final day of the visit, he will be hosted a lunch by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, said a statement by the Prime minister's office.

Commenting on the BRI, PM Lee said: "It is a project which will take many years to bring to fruition, and will probably be one which will never have an ending point." He said Singapore is capable of making a "modest contribution" to the BRI.

So far, Beijing has inked 173 deals with 125 countries and 29 international organisations on the mega-project.

With Chinese and Singaporean ties developing, PM Lee said he hopes these efforts will enable China to integrate constructively and peacefully into the regional and global system.

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