Exchange of congratulatory messages to commemorate the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Singapore and China

The Republic of Singapore and the People’s Republic of China established diplomatic relations on 3 October 1990. To commemorate the 30th anniversary of the occasion, President Halimah Yacob, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Deputy Prime Minister, Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies and Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat, and Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan exchanged congratulatory messages with President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang, Vice Premier Han Zheng, and State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi respectively. The text of the congratulatory messages from President Halimah, Prime Minister Lee, Deputy Prime Minister Heng, and Minister Balakrishnan are appended.

Today marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Singapore and the People’s Republic of China. The foundations of this relationship were laid decades ago, starting with Mr Lee Kuan Yew and Mr Deng Xiaoping’s respective visits to China and Singapore in the 1970s.

 

Over the past 30 years, the relations between Singapore and China have flourished, marked by close people-to-people ties and substantive cooperation. Our Government-to-Government projects in Suzhou, Tianjin, Chongqing, as well as state-level bilateral cooperation project in Guangzhou, continue to make good progress. Bilateral cooperation has also expanded into new areas including smart cities, finance, legal and judicial issues as well as the Belt and Road Initiative.

 

I am heartened that even amidst the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic this year,Singapore and China have maintained close and frequent exchanges at all levels, and extended assistance to each other in times of need. Our two countries have also opened up new areas of cooperation, as we grapple with similar challenges of economic recovery and bolstering trade and connectivity. As we usher in the next 30 years of friendship, I have every confidence that we will bring the bilateral relations between our two countries to even greater heights.

 

Please accept my best wishes, and I look forward to seeing you again soon.

On this joyous occasion of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Singapore and the People’s Republic of China, I extend my best wishes to you, your Government, and the people of China.

 

Singapore and China’s long-standing relationship predate the formal establishment of diplomatic ties in 1990. Our bilateral cooperation has since grown in depth and scope. China has been Singapore’s largest trading partner and Singapore has been China’s largest foreign investor since 2013. We have established three Government-to-Government projects in China in each of the last three decades – in Suzhou, Tianjin, and Chongqing – which continue to do well today.

 

Our people-to-people exchanges have also grown, with more than four million people travelling between our countries in 2018 – a 40-fold increase from the 100,000 travellers in 1990. We have continued to support each other through the COVID-19 outbreak, and identified new areas of cooperation to propel our relationship forward. This is testament to the strong and mutually beneficial partnership that we have forged over the years.

 

Beyond bilateral cooperation, Singapore and China also cooperate well in regional and international fora. We share a strong interest in enhancing ASEAN-China relations, and upholding free and open trade through agreements such as the upgraded China-Singapore Free Trade Agreement and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. I look forward to working with you to strengthen the multilateral infrastructure that binds our world today, and to bring our bilateral partnership to greater heights.

I would like to express my best wishes on this happy occasion of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Singapore and the People’s Republic of China.

 

The firm foundation of our relations was laid decades ago, when Mr Lee Kuan Yew and Mr Deng Xiaoping first visited China and Singapore in 1976 and 1978. This exchange of visits sowed the seeds for the strong friendship between our countries, leading to the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1990. Singapore is honoured that our former Deputy Prime Minister Dr Goh Keng Swee was appointed as a special advisor on Special Economic Zones to China’s top leadership from 1985 to 1990.

 

The friendship between Mr Lee and Mr Deng also led to the development of the Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP), our first Government-to-Government project. I accompanied Mr Lee on his visit to the SIP and other parts of China in the late 1990s, where I witnessed how the trust and understanding between our leaders have led to the good progress of many projects, such as the SIP, and improved the lives of our peoples.

 

Today, Singapore and China enjoy a multi-faceted and mutually beneficial relationship, underpinned by close cooperation across many domains. Beyond our three Government-to-Government projects, we have institutionalised our bilateral exchanges, with the Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) serving as the apex platform. The JCBC remains an important platform to review our existing areas of cooperation, and develop new areas to keep up with the times. In addition, the Singapore-China Forum on Leadership, the Singapore-China Social Governance Forum, and our eight Provincial Business Councils cover other key areas of cooperation.

 

Through these platforms, we have also built personal relationships that further deepen our bilateral ties. My exchanges with you, including our two telephone conversations amidst the COVID-19 pandemic this year, bear testament to the growing relationship between us and between our countries.

 

Despite the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, both our countries have continued to work closely together. We have agreed to include public health collaboration as a new agenda item under the JCBC this year, which will include the development of diagnostics, vaccines and treatments for COVID-19. Both countries are also widening the scope of our collaboration in areas such as services trade, food safety, and legal and judicial services. Amidst the challenges we face, it is even more important for our leaders in both countries to provide strategic direction and guide our bilateral relationship forward.

 

Beyond bilateral cooperation, Singapore and China have also worked well in regional and international fora, including with ASEAN. With next year marking the 30th anniversary of ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations, Singapore looks forward to working closely with China and other ASEAN Member States to commemorate this anniversary and strengthen ASEAN-China cooperation.

 

I look forward to hosting you and your delegation for the upcoming JCBC this year, and to discuss how we can bring our relations to greater heights.

I would like to convey my warmest wishes on the joyous occasion of the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Singapore and the People’s Republic of China.

 

The foundation of our relationship was laid down more than 30 years ago by Mr Lee Kuan Yew and Mr Deng Xiaoping in the 1970s. Today, our countries enjoy excellent and multi-faceted relations. Our three Government-to-Government projects, which reflect different stages of our countries’ development and cooperation, continue to make good progress. New initiatives such as the China-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City and Singapore-China (Shenzhen) Smart City Initiative have provided mutual benefits to both countries, and supported China’s regional development strategies.

 

Our relationship has strengthened during the COVID-19 pandemic, through our mutual support for each other’s efforts to combat the outbreak. We have been similarly committed to facilitating our economic recoveries by championing cooperation in cross-border and supply chain connectivity. We have also found new areas of cooperation in public health management and vaccine research and development.

 

Aside from cooperating bilaterally, Singapore and China have also worked closely at the regional and international levels on issues of common interest. Through the ASEAN-China platform, we were able to cooperate in the regional fight against COVID-19. We also share a joint commitment to promote free and open trade in the region through the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

 

As we look back on the achievements in our relations over the short span of 30 years, I am confident that our ties will become even stronger as we embark on the next phase of our partnership. I look forward to continuing to work with you to bring our relations to an even higher level.

 

 

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Singapore