Singapore

S'pore, China to deepen defence ties

Singapore and China will deepen defence ties further, such as by stepping up bilateral exercises between their navies and armies.

Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said yesterday he had a successful trip to Beijing, where he met his counterpart, General Chang Wanquan.

Dr Ng said he and Gen Chang explored ways to deepen defence relations based on the four-point consensus reached in 2014.

Under that, Singapore and China pledged a steady development of the defence relationship, based on respect and accommodating each other's security concerns for trust.

They also agreed to enhance dialogue and mutual understanding through regular high-level meetings and strategic consultation, promote confidence building and mutual trust through practical cooperation such as joint training exercises as well as deepen friendship through increased exchanges and dialogues between their militaries.

Since then, bilateral defence ties have progressed steadily.

A new bilateral naval exercise, Exercise Maritime Cooperation, introduced in 2015, comprises conventional naval warfare serials, exercise planning and combined simulator training ashore, Singapore's Ministry of Defence said.

Dr Ng was part of the delegation that accompanied Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to China this week.

Gen Chang acknowledged the role Singapore, as country coordinator for Asean-China dialogue relations, has played to improve defence ties between China and Asean. - THE STRAITS TIMES

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