President Tony Tan on state visit to China

President Tony Tan on state visit to China
PHOTO: Zaobao

President Tony Tan Keng Yam, who is on a state visit to China from June 29 to July 4, met with President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People on Friday (July 3).

According to a press statement from Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), President Xi and Mdm Peng Liyuan also hosted President Tan and Mrs Tan to a Welcome Ceremony and a State Banquet. During the meeting, both Presidents affirmed the excellent state of the special bilateral relationship as both countries commemorate the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.

Both Presidents agreed to positively work towards an upgrade of the China-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (CSFTA), with President Tan expressing the hope that the CSFTA upgrade will commence within the year and be concluded expeditiously.

President Tan and President Xi noted the good progress made on the exploration of a third Singapore-China Government-to-Government (G-to-G) project in Western China. This will be a new, innovative and high-quality flagship project for bilateral co-operation, building on the success of the China-Singapore Suzhou Industrial Park and the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City. President Xi stressed that the third G-to-G project would be a priority and serve as a demonstrative project for China’s “One Belt One Road” initiative, the Western Region Development and the Yangtze River Economic Belt strategies.

Both Presidents also noted that the upgrade of the CSFTA and the third G-to-G project in Western China reflect the two countries’ constantly evolving partnership and ability to keep up with the times, as well as our joint commitment to raise bilateral co-operation to a higher level.

According to the MFA, President Tan and President Xi also witnessed a signing ceremony for three bilateral Memoranda of Understanding, namely: (i) MOU between Singapore’s Ministry of National Development and the Development Research Council of the PRC State Council on Cooperation in Visiting Fellowships, Study Visits, Joint Research and Publications, and Events/Conferences; (ii) Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Fudan University on a Joint Research Programme in Smart Liveable City Technologies; and (iii) NTU and Tsinghua University on a Joint Research Programme on Crowdsourcing Technology.

President Tan also met with Premier Li Keqiang on Friday. They expressed satisfaction with the current state of bilateral relations and had a fruitful discussion on how to take bilateral co-operation to new heights, building on the strong foundation laid since the establishment of our diplomatic relations 25 years ago. President Tan and Premier Li also exchanged views on key regional developments.

President Tan had a separate meeting with Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference Chairman Yu Zhengsheng the same day, where they exchanged views on bilateral relations and regional developments.

President Tan and Chairman Yu jointly hosted a lunch reception at the Great Hall of the People commemorating the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Singapore and China. In his remarks, President Tan highlighted the rapid development of bilateral relations over the past 25 years and the potential to bring this relationship to greater heights.

During the reception, they witnessed a cheque handing-over ceremony for a charity project initiated by the Singaporean community in China in support of Ludian County, Yunnan Province, which was struck by a devastating earthquake in August 2014. They also unveiled the winning entries of a postcard photography competition held in conjunction with the 25th anniversary celebrations.

President Tan will return to Singapore on Saturday, July 4.

candicec@sph.com.sg

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