SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday (Jul 6) affirmed the two countries’ substantive bilateral relationship, frequent high-level exchanges and good progress made in bilateral cooperation, the Singapore Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said in a statement.

The leaders met in Hamburg, Germany, ahead of the G20 Leaders’ Summit there. They last met when China hosted the G20 in Hangzhou last year. 

During their meeting in Hamburg, PM Lee congratulated President Xi on the 20th anniversary of the return of Hong Kong to the People’s Republic of China under the “One Country, Two Systems” framework.

Both leaders discussed how Singapore could work with China to implement the Belt and Road (B&R) Initiative, including the Chongqing Connectivity Initiative, which has achieved good progress in financial services and aviation connectivity, the PMO said. They agreed that it was important to promote closer economic integration through the expeditious conclusion of the China-Singapore Free Trade Agreement upgrade.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and President Xi Jinping meet in Hamburg on 6 July 2017. (Photo: Ministry of Communications and Information)

The two leaders discussed the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail project and PM Lee welcomed China’s interest in it. 

Mr Lee and President Xi expressed their commitment to work together to promote closer ASEAN-China cooperation, under Singapore’s ongoing coordinatorship of ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations and Singapore’s chairmanship of ASEAN in 2018.

PM Lee and President Xi also exchanged views on regional and international developments.

Mr Lee is in Germany as part of a week-long working visit at German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s invitation. He met with Dr Merkel earlier on Thursday in Berlin.

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