|China-ASEAN Relations Boast Greater Potential, Wider Space and Better Prospect|
On February 29, 2016, Foreign Minister Wang Yi held talks with Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan of Singapore, and jointly met the press.
Wang Yi said that the China-Singapore relations always enjoy the features of being forward-looking and guidance with rich strategic connotation. This year is the beginning year of the implementation of the China-Singapore all-round cooperative partnership advancing with the times, and the development of the China-Singapore relations is facing important opportunities. The first is to jointly build the third major intergovernmental project, that is the Chongqing-based cooperation in connectivity and logistics. The second is to promote the completion of the negotiation on the upgraded version of the China-Singapore Free Trade Area (FTA) this year so as to spearhead in regional free trade cooperation. The third is to jointly build the 21 Century Maritime Silk Road, and give full play to Singapore's supporting role as a financial platform.
Wang Yi said that the China-ASEAN relations have kept a sound development momentum and have always been at the forefront of the cooperation between the ASEAN and other countries. China is glad to see the ASEAN conduct exchanges with more countries. But in comparison, the China-ASEAN relationship boasts greater potential, wider space, stronger impetus and better prospect as both sides are not only neighbors and developing countries, but a community of common destiny. This year China is willing to implement the results of the upgraded bilateral FTA as soon as possible, discuss the advancement of international production capacity cooperation, well hold a series of activities marking the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the China-ASEAN dialogue relations, and jointly plan and look forward greater development of the China-ASEAN relations in the next 25 years. China expects Singapore to fully play its role as a coordinator in the China-ASEAN relations.
Vivian Balakrishnan said that as friendly countries along the Silk Road since ancient times, Singapore and China share special relations in geography, history and culture. Under the meticulous cultivation by leaders of both countries, Singapore and China have carried out an all-round and mutually beneficial cooperation over the past decades, in which the Suzhou Industrial Park and the Tianjin Eco-City have become models. Singapore and China celebrated the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations last year. The two heads of state exchanged visits and identified the new position of the bilateral relations, elevating the Singapore-China relations into a new level. Singapore has full confidence in the prospect of the development of China's economy and the development of the Singapore-China relations. Singapore is willing to maintain the friendly tradition of high-level exchanges with China, take an active part in the building of "Belt Road" initiative, and push forward the negotiations on the upgraded version of the Singapore–China FTA. The ASEAN and China have far more cooperation fields than differences. Singapore is willing to play the role of coordinator in the ASEAN-China relations by pushing the continuous development of the ASEAN-China relations and further consolidating bilateral relations.