|Li Keqiang Holds Talks with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore|
On the afternoon of September 19, 2017, Premier Li Keqiang held talks with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore at the Great Hall of the People, who was in China for an official visit.
Li Keqiang expressed that China and Singapore have always upheld mutual respect and treated each other equally. The two sides continue to deepen overall mutually beneficial cooperation, bringing tangible benefits to the people of the two countries. China stands ready to work with Singapore to strive to deepen political mutual trust, jointly well grasp the general direction for the development of bilateral relations, promote inter-governmental cooperation projects for new progress, enhance exchanges and cooperation between the two countries in people-to-people and cultural exchanges, social governance, defense, law enforcement and security, and maintain close communication and coordination on international and regional affairs.
Li Keqiang pointed out that China is the largest trading partner for Singapore and Singapore is the largest source of foreign investment for China. China is willing to synergize the Belt and Road Initiative with the development strategy of Singapore to further improve trade and investment cooperation between China and Singapore. Both sides should jointly propel negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), upgrade negotiations on the bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and expand cooperation in finance, science, technology and innovation. China welcomes more Singaporean enterprises to invest in China, and strengthen cooperation not only with China's coastal areas, but also with central and western areas. China has cutting-edge, safe and reliable, cost-effective high speed railway technology. It is hoped that Singapore will support Chinese enterprises to participate in Singapore-Malaysia high-speed railway project.
Li Keqiang addressed that Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is China's priority of its neighboring diplomacy. China hopes and supports Singapore, as coordinator for China-ASEAN relations and the 2018 rotating presidency for ASEAN, to continue to play a positive and constructive role in China-ASEAN relations and the development of East Asia cooperation, so as to forge a higher-level China-ASEAN strategic partnership, safeguard regional peace and stability and promote shared development and prosperity.
Lee Hsien Loong expressed that Singapore-China relations enjoy sound development and three inter-governmental cooperation projects are running smoothly. Singapore is willing to carry out the construction of the Southern Transport Corridor with China to push forward regional connectivity. Both sides should speed up the upgrading negotiations on bilateral FTA, promote the negotiations on RCEP, and strengthen cooperation in finance, investment, aviation and information technology. Singapore welcomes Chinese enterprises to participate in Singapore-Malaysia high-speed railway project. Singapore thanks China's support for the development of ASEAN, and is delighted to see the constant development of ASEAN-China relations. ASEAN-China relations are of overall importance. Singapore stands ready to play a constructive role in promoting the development of ASEAN-China strategic partnership.
The two sides also exchanged in-depth views on international and regional issues of common concern.
Prior to the talks, Li Keqiang held a welcome ceremony for Lee Hsien Loong at the square outside the East Gate of the Great Hall of the People. Vice Chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Chen Xiaoguang and others attended the ceremony.