BEIJING: Singapore hopes to work more closely with China in fighting problems such as cyber-crime, drugs and terrorism, said Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Teo Chee Hean in his first visit to Beijing as Home Affairs Minister.
One aim of his visit is to boost ties between security personnel and law enforcers from both sides, he said as he met China's public security czar Zhou Yongkang, a member of the Communist Party's elite Politburo Standing Committee.
In the Chinese capital on a five-day visit, DPM Teo also met China's Public Security Minister Meng Jianzhu, who is tipped to take over from Mr Zhou during a scheduled leadership transition later this year.
Singapore and China can build on a pact they signed last year to combat transnational crime like drug trafficking, said DPM Teo, who took over the home affairs portfolio last May.
'We can see that drugs in the whole of Asia (are) actually very much a trans-boundary problem,' he added.
In turn, Mr Zhou hoped to deepen tie-ups in areas such as anti-terrorism and maritime law enforcement, state broadcaster China Central TV (CCTV) reported.
Singapore has much success in maintaining social harmony, he noted, adding that both sides can have exchanges in activities like managing new media.
CCTV quoted DPM Teo as saying that Singapore was willing to share with China its experiences in environmental protection as well as promoting cohesion between the different races. Singapore is happy to see 'a unified and prosperous China', he was quoted as saying.
Mr Zhou, who is in charge of political and legislative affairs, oversees the courts, police and various security and law enforcement bodies in China.
He told his visitors during their meeting at the Great Hall Of The People that he had good memories of Singapore.
A deputy general manager of the China National Petroleum Corporation in the late 1980s, Mr Zhou recalled how the firm had then wanted to build a digital processing centre and had to buy high-speed computers from the United States.
But there was a problem, as the US said that Americans had to be sent to China to monitor the working of these machines.
A compromise was reached by having the centre in Singapore instead, he said.
'The centre raised Chinese oil exploration techniques greatly, to reach international standards,' he said.
That instance of cooperation had taken place before Singapore and China set up bilateral ties in 1990, noted Mr Zhou.
Since then, relations have progressed quickly, with frequent high- level exchanges, he said.
In terms of traveller numbers, the two sides saw more than two million visits in total last year, he added.
DPM Teo stressed that it was important to build on strong ties by involving younger leaders from both sides.
Indeed, his delegation to Beijing is notable for including younger leaders such as Education Minister Heng Swee Keat and Major-General (NS) Chan Chun Sing, Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS).
Also in the group are Minister of State (Finance and Transport) Josephine Teo, as well as senior parlimentary secretaries Sam Tan (Foreign affairs, MCYS) and Sim Ann (Education and Law).
They will take part in the third Singapore-China Forum on Leadership today, along with senior civil servants from various ministries.
Last held in Singapore in 2010, the event is chaired jointly by DPM Teo, the minister in charge of the public service, and Mr Li Yuanchao, who heads the organisation department of the Communist Party's Central Committee.