Xi calls for enhanced ties with Singapore on ASEAN issues
Updated: 2011-05-24 08:10
By Cheng Guangjin (China Daily)
BEIJING - China hopes to enhance coordination with Singapore in China-ASEAN relations and regional affairs, Vice-President Xi Jinping told Singaporean former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew on Monday in Beijing.
Vice-President Xi Jinping meets Singapore's former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Monday. Lee retired from the Singaporean cabinet after the May 7 election. Xu Jingxing / China Daily
Lee, who retired from the Singaporean cabinet after the May 7 election, is on a two-day visit to China. He met Xi and Liu Yunshan, head of the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, on Monday.
Xi said China wants to continue enhancing cooperation with Singapore in trade, culture and defense, as well as personnel exchanges and training.
"China also hopes to enhance coordination and cooperation with Singapore in China-ASEAN relations and regional and international affairs in East Asia, so as to level up our bilateral relations," Xi said.
Lee said it was his "great fortune" to have met former leader Deng Xiaoping and to have developed relations with China over the years, "which we have carefully kept up with the younger generation".
Lee announced his retirement from the cabinet on May 14 after the worst electoral performance by the ruling People's Action Party (PAP) since independence.
Lee was Singapore's first prime minister from 1959 to 1990, and then served in the cabinet as senior minister and then as minister mentor.
He will remain in parliament and stay on as senior adviser to the state investment firm, the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation.
Xi said the PAP remaining in office was "beneficial to the sound and steady development of China-Singapore relations".
"As the father of current Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and a political leader for so many years, Lee will indirectly continue to influence Singapore's policymaking," Su Hao, director of the Center for Strategic and Conflict Management at China Foreign Affairs University, told China Daily.
"The two countries also have much potential for more defense cooperation in information sharing in fighting piracy and terrorism," said Su.
Singapore is also a top destination for Chinese civil servants seeking academic training. Tens of thousands of Chinese officials have participated in training and visiting programs in Singapore since the 1980s.
"(Such programs) have played an important role in promoting bilateral relations and China's modernization," said Xi, calling for expanded training and personnel exchanges with Singapore.
After a deep freeze in sales during the recession, China’s air conditioner makers are bouncing back
Shanghai’s historic ALLEYS not just unique architecture but a way of life
Hong Kong-born singer songwriter rises to the top of the UK pops.
Belgian envoy draws on personal fascination to help build China ties.