Singapore

Singapore to work with China to realise Belt and Road's full potential


Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean has pledged that Singapore will work with China to realise the full potential of the Belt and Road Initiative.

One important way is to ensure the safe and free flow of goods overland and across the seas, including the Strait of Malacca and the Strait of Singapore, he said.

For this reason, "Singapore will continue to uphold this right of transit passage for ships and aircraft of all countries, and will not support any attempt to restrict transit passage to ships or aircraft from any country".

He also said that working together to provide safe and unimpeded passage to all is a key prerequisite for the modern Maritime Silk Road.

Mr Teo was setting out how Singapore can contribute to boosting connectivity among the hubs of the Belt and Road Initiative, of which the Maritime Silk Road is a part.

It was one of three areas of cooperation he identified yesterday when opening the FutureChina Global Forum.

This "grand vision... has the potential to bring long-lasting benefits for regional development and integration, uplifting the economies and people across this whole vast region", he said.

Singapore supports it, he added, noting both countries have strong ties that have adapted with their needs over the years.

Cooperation on the Belt and Road is a key example of close ties, and is a crucial area of work for the Singapore-China Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation, he said, referring to the council he co-chairs with Chinese Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli.

He added that there is "much potential for broadening and deepening our relationship and taking it to the next level".

The two other ways Singapore can contribute to the initiative are financing and human capital development.

He said: "While we have often focused on the physical infrastructure of the Belt and Road, other dimensions and layers are also important to realise the full potential of the initiative."

FOR MORE, READ THE STRAITS TIMES TODAY

Teo Chee HeanSingaporeChina