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Zhang Gaoli Visits Singapore and Chairs Meetings for China-Singapore Cooperation Mechanisms

From October 12 to 14 local time, Zhang Gaoli, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and Vice Premier, paid a visit to Singapore at invitation, during which he met respectively with President Tony Tan Keng Yam, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean and Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam of Singapore and co-chaired the 12th meeting of China-Singapore Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC), the 17th China-Singapore Joint Steering Council Meeting for the Suzhou Industrial Park and the eighth China-Singapore Joint Steering Council Meeting for the Tianjin Eco-city together with Teo Chee Hean.

When meeting with Singaporean leaders, Zhang Gaoli conveyed kind greetings from President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang to Tony Tan Keng Yam and Lee Hsien Loong. Tony Tan Keng Yam and Lee Hsien Loong extended their gratitude and asked Zhang Gaoli to convey their best wishes to Chinese leaders.

Zhang Gaoli spoke highly of the development achievements scored by Singapore since its founding 50 years ago and extended congratulations on its successful parliamentary election and formation of the new administration. Zhang Gaoli noted that as this year marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, bilateral relations are standing at a period featuring important historic opportunity and inheriting the past and ushering into the future. President Tony Tan Keng Yam paid a successful visit to China in the middle of this year, during which President Xi Jinping held a fruitful talk with him. The two heads of state agreed to push bilateral relations for a new high by summarizing the development experience of sound China-Singapore relations in the past 25 years. The main task of his visit is to comprehensively sum up outcomes of bilateral cooperation in all sectors to push forward new progresses of China-Singapore friendship and key cooperation projects.

Zhang Gaoli expressed that Singapore is an important partner and a special friend of China. China is willing to map out and develop bilateral relations always from a strategic and long-term perspective. China would like to, together with Singapore, maintain close high-level exchanges, increase political mutual trust, tap potentials for practical cooperation, constantly boost cooperation in such sectors as economy, trade, investment, finance, scientific and technological innovation, environmental protection, human resources and social governance, encourage enterprises from both countries to conduct infrastructure construction cooperation in countries along the "Belt and Road", and jointly explore market in a third country so as to further push bilateral relations and friendly cooperation in the new era for greater development.

Zhang Gaoli said that the relations between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are facing important development opportunities as next year marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of China-ASEAN dialogue relationship. Singapore assumed the post of country coordinator for China-ASEAN relations this August, and China is ready to, together with Singapore, actively implement all the initiatives put forward by leaders of both countries and promote healthy and stable development of China-ASEAN strategic partnership, so as to make greater contribution to regional development and prosperity.

Singaporean leaders including Tony Tan Keng Yam and Lee Hsien Loong expressed that the profound traditional friendship and sound development of bilateral cooperation conform to the development demands of both nations. The remarkable achievements China has scored since its reform and opening-up are not only conducive to peace and stability in the region and world at large, but also provide new opportunities to the Singapore-China relationship. Singapore is willing to work with China to maintain the good momentum of the development of bilateral relations, deepen practical cooperation in all sectors and actively explore the expansion of new cooperation areas by taking the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations as opportunity, so as to score new and constant achievements in bilateral cooperation and ASEAN-China relationship.

On October 13, Zhang Gaoli and Teo Chee Hean co-chaired meetings for three China-Singapore high-level cooperation mechanisms. Both sides mainly discussed six major topics including the third intergovernmental project, upgrading of bilateral free trade agreement, economic transformation, financial cooperation, people-to-people and cultural exchanges as well as inclusive and sustainable development by focusing on new progress of bilateral all-round cooperation. Both sides agreed that the third intergovernmental project, as a cooperation project with strategic significance between the two governments, will be implemented in western China. The project will focus on modern connectivity and modern service-driven economy, and play its role by forming a network. The two sides also fully affirmed the results scored in the development and construction of Suzhou Industrial Park and Tianjin Eco-city and identified the objectives and tasks in the next-stage development. They also expressed the willingness to continue offering strong support to the construction of Suzhou Industrial Park and Tianjin Eco-city.

Following the meetings, Zhang Gaoli and Teo Chee Hean together witnessed the signing of relevant documents on bilateral cooperation.

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