People's Republic of China



OVERVIEW

Singapore enjoys strong and substantive relations with the People’s Republic of China (PRC), anchored by a steady flow of high-level visits, multifaceted cooperation, growing people-to-people exchanges, and robust economic ties.

Since 2013, China has been Singapore’s largest trading partner, and Singapore has been China’s largest foreign investor. 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) Demonstration Initiative on Strategic Connectivity (Chongqing Connectivity Initiative, CCI) – as well as several private sector-led, government-supported initiatives such as the Guangzhou Knowledge City, the Singapore-Sichuan Hi-Tech Innovation Park, the Nanjing Eco High-Tech Island, and the Jilin Food Zone. At the provincial level, we have seven provincial business and economic councils with Sichuan, Shandong, Liaoning, Zhejiang, Tianjin, Guangdong and Jiangsu. Since the mid-1990s, more than 50,000 Chinese officials have come to Singapore for various study visits and training programmes.

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”. 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) with the aim of concluding negotiations by the end of 2016. The CSFTA, which came into effect in 2009, was the first bilateral FTA that China had concluded with an Asian country. The launch of the CCI, our third Government-to-Government project, was also announced after President Xi’s visit. The CCI will comprise four pillars: financial services, aviation, transport and logistics, and information and communications technology.

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

2017

  • Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong visited Xi’an from 9 to 12 October for the Boao Forum for Asia Board of Directors’ Working Meeting.
  • 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.
  • 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 had a bilateral meeting with PRC President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg on 6 July.
  • 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.
  • Minister (Foreign Affairs) Dr Vivian Balakrishnan made an official visit to Beijing from 11 to 12 June.
  • 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 Teo Chee Hean.
  • 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. 
  • People’s Republic of China National Bureau of Corruption Prevention Vice Minister and Central Commission for Discipline Inspection Department of International Cooperation Director-General Liu Jianchao visited Singapore and called on Minister Dr Vivian Balakrishnan on 13 April 2017.
  • Senior Minister of State (PMO) (Foreign Affairs) (Transport) Mrs Josephine Teo made a working visit to Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, from 10 to 12 April.
  • Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong visited Hainan Province from 24 to 25 March for the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference.
  • 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 (SIP) 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.

2016

  • Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong visited Chongqing Municipality and participated in the G20 Summit in Hangzhou (Zhejiang Province) at PRC President Xi Jinping’s invitation from 2 to 5 September.
  • PRC Political and Legal Affairs Commission (PLAC) 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.
  • Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong visited Hainan Province from 22 to 25 March for the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference.
  • Minister (Foreign Affairs) Dr Vivian Balakrishnan made an introductory visit to Beijing from 29 February to 1 March.
  • Minister (Prime Minister’s Office) Chan Chun Sing, Singapore Co-Chair of the Chongqing Connectivity Initiative (CCI) Joint Working Committee (JWC) and Joint Implementation Committee (JIC), visited Chongqing in January, April, July and September for CCI-related meetings and activities.
  • Senior Minister of State (Prime Minister’s Office, Foreign Affairs, and Transport) Josephine Teo visited Yunnan and Guizhou from 17 to 20 April.

2015

  • 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.

 Last updated: December 2017