China, Singapore hold key forum

China, Singapore hold key forum
Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean.

Improving governance methods, boosting public welfare and learning from different experiences were among key topics discussed by senior officials from China and Singapore at a major forum in Beijing on Monday.

China's top security official Meng Jianzhu and Singaporean Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean delivered keynote speeches at the China-Singapore Forum on Social Governance.

They raised issues of common concern and highlighted areas where shared experiences were beneficial in the past and will be in the future.

Meng, head of the Commission for Political and Legal Affairs of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, praised the rapid development of bilateral relations and close cooperation between the two countries.

He said Singapore has explored a model of social governance and effective law enforcement based on traditional culture and a modern outlook, which is instructive for China regarding its method of strengthening social governance through the rule of law.

Meng highlighted four areas of particular benefit; sharing experiences on social governance, cooperating to develop new methods of establishing legal principles and codes of conduct, studying key problems in social governance and working together to find solutions, and improving the theory of social governance through firsthand experience.

Teo said that the widespread use of information technology resulted in challenges for social governance.

He said that individuals and not just large organisations have the ability to produce and distribute information quickly.

Connectivity can be used negatively, for example, by people inciting hatred or organising riots, as happened in London in 2011, he said, and called on the forum to discuss ways to harness technology for the greater good.

Song Yinghui, a researcher at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said China and Singapore have experience in governance that would be of common benefit.

China has benefited from the experience of Singapore's economic development during the early years of opening-up and reform in the 1980s, she said.

Experience in tackling corruption and improving social security could also be of benefit, she added.

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