Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong met Premier Li Qiang at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on 1 April 2023. Prime Minister Lee was also hosted by Premier Li to a Welcome Ceremony and Lunch Banquet.
Prime Minister Lee and Premier Li reaffirmed Singapore and China’s strong cooperation and longstanding ties. They welcomed the upgrade of bilateral relations to an “All-Round High-Quality Future-Oriented Partnership” (全方位高质量的前瞻性伙伴关系). They commended the good progress made by the projects between both countries, such as the three Government-to-Government projects in Suzhou, Tianjin, and Chongqing. The leaders discussed how Singapore and China could further expand and deepen collaboration, including in areas such as air connectivity, digital economy, green development, financial cooperation, and energy and food security. Prime Minister Lee and Premier Li welcomed the substantive conclusion of the China-Singapore Free Trade Agreement Subsequent Negotiations, and looked forward to the signing later this year. The Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) is the apex bilateral cooperation platform which will continue to steer collaboration under the upgraded partnership.
Prime Minister Lee expressed in-principle support for China’s interest in joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). It is important for China to meet and adhere to the high standard rules and comprehensive market access commitments, as expected of all CPTPP members. This has to be worked out between China and all CPTPP members, on the basis of consensus. Prime Minister Lee also welcomed China’s application to the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA), in accordance with the rules and procedures of the agreement.
Premier Li updated Prime Minister Lee on his priorities for China, which includes continuing with China’s reform and opening-up and ensuring high-quality development. Prime Minister Lee and Premier Li agreed to step up party-to-party engagements.
Both leaders also exchanged views on regional and international developments. They took stock of the strong momentum in ASEAN-China relations, and looked forward to more substantive and practical cooperation that would benefit both regions and peoples.
After the meeting, Prime Minister Lee and Premier Li witnessed the signing of the following Memoranda of Understanding (MOU):
The Embassy of the Republic of Singapore in Beijing and the Beijing Municipality Government also signed an MOU on Strengthening Singapore-Beijing Cooperation and People-to-People Exchanges on 31 March 2023.
Prime Minister Lee returns to Singapore this evening.
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MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
1 APRIL 2023