Singapore's PM Lee and China's President Xi discuss boosting economic recovery together

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing in 2019. - MCI

SHANGHAI (The Straits Times/Asia News Network): Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke on the phone on Friday (Oct 15), in which the two leaders discussed ways to jointly boost economic recovery.

In a readout by the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Lee and Xi talked about a host of issues that both countries can work together on, such as cross-border and supply chain connectivity, trade and investment, smart cities and climate change.

They also said there should be more collaboration in newer areas such as the green economy and the digital economy.

The two leaders reaffirmed the strong ties between Singapore and China, and the benefits reaped from bilateral cooperation even under trying conditions because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The two countries have three official projects - in Suzhou, Tianjin and Chongqing.

Prime Minister Lee and President Xi last spoke in July last year, when the Chinese leader called to congratulate Lee on the result of the Singapore general election.

In a readout by Chinese official news agency Xinhua on Friday, Xi said Singapore and China, as close neighbours and partners, have helped each other overcome difficulties in the face of the pandemic, a sign of the relationship's resilience.

He added that China is ready to maintain high-level exchanges with Singapore, resume the flow of travellers between the two countries safely and collaborate on vaccine and drug research and development.

The leaders also discussed regional and international developments, and spoke of the strong ties between Asean and China on the 30th year of establishing dialogue relations.

China and Singapore will meet later this year for the 17th Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation summit, the highest-level exchange on primarily economic cooperation.

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