PM Lee and Xi discuss new areas of cooperation

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Chinese President Xi Jinping and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong discussed new areas of bilateral cooperation yesterday as they reaffirmed the deep and strong friendship built over the years by successive generations of leaders.

The new areas of bilateral cooperation include financial, judicial and legal matters, as well as defence, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said in a statement.

Mr Lee, who visited Chinese tech start-up SenseTime, also expressed Singapore's interest to learn from China's experience in growing a vibrant environment for technology start-ups, the PMO said.

In his opening remarks at the meeting at the Great Hall of the People, Mr Xi said there are many opportunities to build ties with Singapore in what he described as a "new historical chapter" in the two countries' bilateral ties.

Mr Lee said he was grateful to receive an invitation to visit China at this busy time, when China is preparing for next month's 19th party conference.

The two leaders agreed their countries enjoy strategic congruence and share common interests in many areas, which contributed to close and multi-faceted cooperation over the years.

This included the successful collaboration in the three government-to-government projects, namely the Suzhou Industrial Park, the Tianjin Eco-City, and the Chongqing Connectivity Initiative.

The leaders noted the important role played by the major bilateral mechanisms, such as the Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation and Singapore-China Leadership Forum.

They agreed to further strengthen these mechanisms and bring relations to the next level.

Mr Xi expressed appreciation for Singapore's early support for the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

The leaders highlighted the potential of the Chongqing Connectivity Initiative and the Southern Transport Corridor to play a key role in supporting the BRI, as well as China's domestic developmental priorities, particularly in western China.

Mr Lee said he welcomed Chinese companies to submit strong and competitive bids for the Singapore-Kuala Lumpur High-Speed Rail project, given China's extensive experience in the field.

Mr Lee, who met Premier Li Keqiang on Tuesday, also met parliamentary chief Zhang Dejiang and anti-graft czar Wang Qishan yesterday, the second day of his three-day visit.

Mr Lee and his delegation left for Xiamen in Fujian province last night.


ChinaXi JinpingLee Hsien Loong