Chinese Premier Li Keqiang makes a five-day official visit to Singapore next week, where he will attend the 33rd Asean Summit and related meetings, capping off a year of engagement between both countries.
Announcing the visit at a regular press briefing on Tuesday (Nov 6), Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying said Mr Li will hold talks with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, and call on President Halimah Yacob.
PM Lee will host an official dinner for Mr Li.
The Chinese leader, who arrives in Singapore next Monday, will also be delivering the 44th Singapore Lecture organised by the ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute and Business China on Tuesday.
During Mr Li’s visit, both countries are expected to ink an upgraded free trade deal, the negotiations of which were recently concluded.
At the briefing on Tuesday, Ms Hua described China and Singapore as “good neighbours”, pointing out that Mr Li’s upcoming visit is the first by a Chinese premier in 11 years.
She noted that both sides have established an “all-round cooperative partnership that progresses with the times”, and have carried out fruitful cooperation under China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
Mr Li’s visit, she added, is to “further enhance China and Singapore’s traditional friendship, deepen mutually beneficial cooperation, and promote the development of bilateral relations in the new era”.
Both Mr Li and PM Lee will review the successful experiences in the development of bilateral relations and plan for further future cooperation.
On the regional front, she said China’s cooperation with Japan and South Korea has regained momentum, and that negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), an Asean-led free trade pact, are accelerating.
The three countries are among 16 nations, including Singapore, negotiating the RCEP.
Mr Li’s visit to Singapore will play an important role in not only promoting China-Asean relations, but also cooperation in the East Asia region, said Ms Hua.
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