People's Republic of China

Overview

Singapore enjoys strong and substantive relations with the People’s Republic of China (PRC), anchored by frequent high-level exchanges, multifaceted cooperation, growing people-to-people exchanges, and robust economic ties.  In 2015, Singapore and China celebrated the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations and released a Joint Statement that characterised bilateral relations as an “All-Round Cooperative Partnership Progressing with the Times”.  

Since 2013, China has been Singapore’s largest trading partner, and Singapore has been China’s largest foreign investor.  Following PRC President Xi Jinping’s State Visit to Singapore in 2015, both sides agreed to launch negotiations to upgrade the China-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (CSFTA) which had entered into force on 1 January 2009.  The upgrade of the CSFTA was concluded in November 2018 and the signing of the CSFTA Upgrade Protocol was witnessed by PM Lee Hsien Loong and Premier Li Keqiang during the latter’s Official Visit to Singapore in conjunction with the 33rd ASEAN Summit and Related Summits.  It comprised a meaningful and substantive package in terms of market access for Singapore’s export of goods and services into China, and provided greater transparency and predictability for business activities between the companies from Singapore and China. 
 
Singapore and China have established three Government-to-Government projects, (i) the China-Singapore Suzhou Industrial Park; (ii) the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City; and (iii) the China-Singapore (Chongqing) Demonstrative Initiative on Strategic Connectivity. We have also established a state-level bilateral level cooperation project, the China-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City and several private sector-led, government-supported initiatives such as the Singapore-Sichuan Hi-Tech Innovation Park, the Nanjing Eco High-Tech Island, and the Jilin Food Zone. At the provincial level, we have eight provincial business and economic councils with Sichuan, Shandong, Liaoning, Zhejiang, Tianjin, Guangdong, Jiangsu and Shanghai. Since the mid-1990s, more than 50,000 Chinese officials have come to Singapore for various study visits and training programmes.  

Beyond the traditional parameters, Singapore and China have also been collaborating in new areas such as the rule of law, social governance and finance.

 

Recent Highlights

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  • To commemorate the 25th anniversary of Singapore-China diplomatic relations, Singapore and China exchanged State Visits. President Tony Tan Keng Yam visited Beijing and Tianjin from 29 June to 4 July. PRC President Xi Jinping made his reciprocal State Visit to Singapore from 6 to 7 November.

 

  • Minister (Prime Minister’s Office) Chan Chun Sing, Singapore Co-Chair of the Chongqing Connectivity Initiative (CCI) Joint Working Committee and Joint Implementation Committee, visited Chongqing in January, April, July and September for CCI-related meetings and activities.
  • Minister (Foreign Affairs) Dr Vivian Balakrishnan made an introductory visit to Beijing from 29 February to 1 March.
  • Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong visited Hainan Province from 22 to 25 March for the Bo’ao Forum for Asia Annual Conference.
  • Senior Minister of State (Prime Minister’s Office, Foreign Affairs, and Transport) Josephine Teo visited Yunnan and Guizhou from 17 to 20 April.
  • PRC Political and Legal Affairs Commission Secretary Meng Jianzhu visited Singapore from 17 to 18 May to co-chair the 3rd Singapore-China Social Governance Forum themed “Governance in a Diverse Society” with Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean.
  • Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong visited Chongqing Municipality and participated in the G20 Summit in Hangzhou at PRC President Xi Jinping’s invitation from 2 to 5 September.
  • Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean visited Beijing from 26 to 28 February to co-chair the meetings of the 13th Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation, the 18th China-Singapore Suzhou Industrial Park Joint Steering Council (JSC), the 9th Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city (TEC) JSC and inaugural meeting of the Chongqing Connectivity Initiative (CCI) JSC meetings.  The co-chairs further witnessed the signing of 4 MOUs covering cooperation in the areas of knowledge exchange on Eco-city development, transport and logistics collaboration, intellectual property rights and biomedical. 15 other MOUs on the TEC and CCI were signed on the sidelines.
  • Minister (Foreign Affairs) Dr Vivian Balakrishnan met Minister of the International Department of the Communist Party of China Song Tao and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi in Beijing on 27 February.
  • Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong visited Hainan Province from 24 to 25 March for the Bo’ao Forum for Asia Annual Conference.
  • Senior Minister of State (Prime Minister’s Office, Foreign Affairs and Transport) Josephine Teo made a working visit to Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, from 10 to 12 April.
  • Minister (National Development) Lawrence Wong attended the inaugural Belt & Road Forum in Beijing from 14 to 15 May and signed a Memorandum of Understanding between Singapore and China to enhance cooperation on the Belt & Road Initiative. 
  • Member of the Political Bureau and Minister of the Organisation Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee Zhao Leji visited Singapore from 15 to 17 May. He co-chaired the 6th Singapore-China Forum on Leadership with Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean.
  • Minister (Foreign Affairs) Dr Vivian Balakrishnan made an official visit to Beijing from 11 to 12 June.
  • Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister (Economic and Social Policies) Tharman Shanmugaratnam visited Beijing, Tianjin and Dalian from 25 to 29 June. He called on PRC Premier Li Keqiang on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum Summer Davos in Dalian on 27 June and met PRC Executive Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli in Beijing on 29 June.
  • Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had a bilateral meeting with PRC President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg on 6 July.
  • Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon visited Beijing from 21 to 22 August to co-chair the inaugural Singapore-China Legal and Judicial Roundtable with Supreme People’s Court President Zhou Qiang.
  • Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong made an official visit to Beijing and Xiamen at the invitation of PRC Premier Li Keqiang from 19 to 21 September.
  • PM Lee Hsien Loong made an official visit to Beijing, Bo’ao and Shanghai from 8 to 12 April.  PM Lee attended the Bo’ao Forum for Asia Annual Conference.

  • DPM and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean made an official visit to Beijing, Tianjin, Nanning, Chongqing, Xining and Lanzhou from 28 June to 6 July.

  • PRC State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi made an official visit to Singapore from 1 to 5 August in conjunction with the 51st ASEAN Foreign Minister and Related Meetings.

  • PRC Prosecutor-General Zhang Jun made an official visit to Singapore from 16 to 18 August.

  • Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong visited Chongqing Municipality from 21 to 24 August to deliver the keynote speech at the inaugural Smart China Expo.

  • PRC Chief Justice Zhou Qiang made an official visit to Singapore from 29 August to 1 September to co-chair the 2nd Singapore-China Legal and Judicial Roundtable with Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon.

  • PRC Vice Premier Han Zheng made an official visit to Singapore from 19 to 21 September to co-chair the 14th Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation with DPM and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean.

  • Minister (National Development) and Second Minister (Finance) Lawrence Wong visited China from 27 to 29 September for the 10th anniversary celebrations of the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city.

  • Minister (Trade and Industry) Chan Chun Sing visited Shanghai from 4 to 7 November for the inaugural China International Import Expo.

  • PRC Vice President Wang Qishan made an official visit to Singapore from 5 to 7 November.

  • PRC Premier Li Keqiang made an official visit to Singapore from 12 to 16 November in conjunction with the 33rd ASEAN Summit and Related Summits.

  • Minister (Culture, Community and Youth) Grace Fu visited Fujian from 1 to 4 December.

  • Minister (Education) Ong Ye Kung made an official visit to Guangdong from 5 to 7 December.
  • Minister (Trade and Industry) Chan Chun Sing visited Chongqing from 7 to 8 January to co-Chair the Chongqing Connectivity Initiative Joint Implementation Committee meeting.

  • DPM and Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies Tharman Shanmugaratnam visited Beijing from 22 to 25 March to attend the China Development Forum.

  • Minister of the International Department of the Communist Party of China Song Tao visited Singapore from 23 to 26 March.

  • DPM and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean visited Beijing, Suzhou, Shanghai and Yan’an from 10 to 15 April.

  • PM Lee Hsien Loong visited Beijing from 25 to 29 April to attend the 2nd Belt and Road Forum.

  • President Halimah Yacob visited Beijing from 14 to 16 May to attend the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilisations.

  • DPM and Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat visited Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hong Kong from 22 to 29 May.

  • PRC State Councilor and Defence Minister GEN Wei Fenghe visited Singapore from 29 May to 1 June to attend the Shangri-la Dialogue.

  • PRC Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress and President of the Chinese Association for International Understanding Ji Bingxuan visited Singapore from 17 to 20 June.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
  • Minister (Communications and Information) S Iswaran visited Beijing and Shenzhen from 2 to 5 July.

  • Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong visited Beijing to attend the 8th World Peace Forum and Hong Kong to attend the forum on “US-China Trade and Economic Relations: What Now?  What Next?” from 7 to 10 July.

  • Minister (Trade and Industry) Chan Chun Sing visited Beijing from 2 to 4 August to co-Chair the Chongqing Connectivity Initiative Joint Working Committee meeting and attend the 8th Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Intersessional Ministerial Meeting.

  • Minister (Manpower) Josephine Teo visited Chongqing from 26 to 29 August to attend the 2nd International Smart China Expo, where Singapore was the Country-of-Honour.

  • Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon visited Beijing from 28 to 30 August to co-chair the 3rd Singapore-China Legal and Judicial Roundtable.

  •  Member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and Chongqing Party Secretary Chen Min’er visited Singapore from 10 to 13 September.

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