PM Lee and China’s President Xi meet in Bangkok, reaffirm close ties

The two leaders said Singapore and China have continued to strengthen cooperation, even amid the Covid-19 pandemic and evolving global challenges.

Goh Yan Han

Goh Yan Han

The Straits Times


Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong meets Chinese President Xi Jinping in Bangkok, on Nov 17, 2022. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

November 18, 2022

BANGKOK – Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Chinese President Xi Jinping met on Thursday evening in the Thai capital, where they reaffirmed the close and multi-faceted relationship between both countries.

The two leaders said Singapore and China have continued to strengthen cooperation, even amid the Covid-19 pandemic and evolving global challenges, said PM Lee’s press secretary Chang Li Lin following the meeting.

The leaders’ first in-person meeting in three years was also attended by Singapore’s Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.

At the meeting, PM Lee congratulated Mr Xi on the successful conclusion of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, while Mr Xi updated PM Lee on the congress and his plans for China’s development.

PM Lee and Mr Xi also exchanged views on bilateral relations, and regional and international developments, including on the importance of maintaining stable United States-China relations, added Ms Chang.

Mr Xi said China welcomes Singapore’s deep participation in its efforts to build a new development model, and that high-quality cooperation should be the hallmark of the two countries’ cooperation, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

China also wants to work with Singapore to jointly promote its Global Development Initiative (GDI) in the region, according to the statement. The GDI is China’s vision of helping developing countries meet the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by providing support in areas such as climate change, food security, poverty alleviation and public health.

Mr Xi reiterated his invitation to PM Lee to visit China soon, and PM Lee also welcomed Mr Xi to visit Singapore again.

Both leaders are in Bangkok to attend the 29th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Economic Leaders’ Meeting, which takes place on Friday and Saturday.

The two leaders arrived in Bangkok from Bali, Indonesia, where they had attended the Group of 20 Leaders’ Summit.

PM Lee and Mr Xi last met in person in April 2019 at the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing. They last spoke over the phone in October 2021 and discussed ways to jointly boost economic recovery.

Mr Xi has been holding a string of bilateral talks in November, on the sidelines of international summits in the region. He had earlier met US President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol in Bali, among others. He is also scheduled to meet Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Bangkok on Thursday.

PM Lee will meet Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee on Friday.

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