President Tony Tan to make 1st state visit to China

President Tony Tan to make 1st state visit to China
PHOTO: Lianhe Zaobao

SINGAPORE - President Tony Tan Keng Yam will make his first state visit to China from Monday (June 29) to July 4.

The purpose of the visit is to celebrate 25 years of diplomatic ties between Singapore and China, according to a statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).

President Tan will visit Beijing and Tianjin. In Beijing, President Tan will attend a meeting and state banquet hosted by President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People.

Both presidents will witness a signing ceremony for bilateral agreements in education and research cooperation.

President Tan will also have separate meetings with Premier Li Keqiang and chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Yu Zhengsheng.

During the reception of the 25th anniversary celebrations, President Tan and Chairman Yu will witness a cheque handing-over ceremony for a charity project by the Singaporean community in China in support of Ludian County, Yunnan Province, which was struck by a devastating earthquake in Aug 2014.

They will also unveil the winning entries of a postcard photography competition held in conjunction with the celebrations.

As part of Singapore's SG50 outreach, President Tan will also meet with Singaporeans living in China. In addition, he will be presenting a collection of 300 Singapore-themed books to the National Library of China under the National Library Board of Singapore's SG50 Gift of Books project, along with his wife Mrs Mary Tan.

In Tianjin, President Tan will meet with Tianjin Acting Party Secretary and Mayor Huang Xingguo. The MFA said that President Tan will also be conferred an Honorary Doctorate by Nankai University in recognition of his contributions to Singapore-China relations.

This is the second time that a Singapore leader has been conferred with the honour. President Tan will also visit the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City, Singapore's second government project with China, which aims to be a thriving city that is socially harmonious, environmentally-friendly and resource-efficient.

During his visit, President Tan will be accompanied by his wife, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, Second Minister for Foreign Affairs and Second Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Grace Fu, Senior Minister of State for National Development and Senior Minister of State for Trade & Industry Lee Yi Shyan, Members of Parliament Mr Hri Kumar Nair and Mr Liang Eng Hwa; and officials from the President's Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Trade and Industry, and Ministry of National Development.

In President Tan's absence, Mr J Y Pillay, Chairman of the Council of Presidential Advisers, will take over the president's duties.

stephluo@sph.com.sg

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