On August 25, 2013, the prime minister of Singapore arrived in Beijing, which marked his fifth official visit to China. The visit of the Singapore PM came amidst high expectations from both countries that bilateral ties will be improved. On August 26, 2013, Premier Li Keqiang will be meeting Lee Hsien Loong and then will be hosting a lunch at the Great Hall of the People.
This will be the first visit of the Singaporean leader as the new Chinese leadership made its debut in March 2013. The former Chinese ambassador to Singapore, Zhang Xiaokang said, “China-Singapore relations have developed very fast, although Singapore is among the Southeast Asian countries that established diplomatic ties with China rather late”.
Xiaokang went on to say that the visit of Lee will focus on economic cooperation this time. She also said that issues, including the development of strategies, science, ecology, technology and public management would be highlighted. A researcher on Southeast Asian studies, Song Yinghui said that closer cooperation will be beneficial to both sides.
Yinghui also stated that as an international port, the economy of Singapore was influenced by the world financial crisis to a certain extent. Moreover, cooperation with China displayed a relatively dynamic potential for economic growth after the crisis, which will help the country to deal with the crisis faster.
Photo Credits: Xinhuanet