SINGAPORE: Chinese President Hu Jintao made a six-point proposal for strengthening cooperation between China and Singapore during his meeting with Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Thursday.
China's President Hu Jintao (L) shakes hands with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in Singapaore November 12, 2009. [Xinhua]
Hu said China and Singapore should always perceive and develop bilateral ties from a strategic height and long-term perspective, continue to uphold the spirit of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit and advance bilateral relations to a higher stage.
During the meeting, Hu suggested that the two sides should focus on the following six aspects to deepen the mutually beneficial cooperation:
Firstly, the two countries should maintain the momentum of frequent high-level contact. He said close contact between leaders of both sides was an outstanding feature of China-Singapore relations, which helped lay a solid political foundation for the development of bilateral ties.
Secondly, the two countries should give full play to bilateral cooperation mechanism. He said the two sides should make good use of the mechanism to continually expand and deepen exchanges and cooperation in various fields.
Thirdly, China and Singapore should deepen economic and trade cooperation. He said the two sides should continue to develop the Suzhou Industrial Park and Tianjin Eco-City, the top two cooperative projects between the two governments.
In the process of implementing the China-Singapore free trade arrangement, both sides should expand channels and space for the Chinese companies to invest in Singapore, he said.
Fourthly, the two countries should expand cultural and people-to-people exchanges. He said the two countries would jointly set up the fourth public university and a China Culture Center in Singapore. In order to mark the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties, China will provide a pair of pandas for Singapore to carry out joint study.
Fifthly, the two sides should step up defense and security cooperation. Hu proposed that the two sides should carry out cooperation in non-traditional security areas, including humanitarian assistance, maritime rescue, safeguarding security in the Malacca Straits and anti-terrorism.
And last, the two countries should promote multilateral cooperation. He said the two countries should continue to step up coordination in such multilateral arenas as East Asia cooperation, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the United Nations to make new contribution to the peace, stability and prosperity of the region and the entire world.
During their meeting, Hu also briefed Lee on China's measures in response to the international financial crisis.
He said the stable and rapid growth of China's economy had brought about more opportunities to Singapore and other member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Lee said Hu's visit was of great significance as the two countries would celebrate the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties next year.
He said bilateral cooperation was not only beneficial to both countries, but also conducive to the international community.
Lee suggested that the two countries should step up cooperation in such fields as city planning, water resources treatment, environment protection and social harmony.
China has played an important role in tackling the international financial crisis and the stability, vitality and prosperity of China's economy are conducive to economic recovery in Asia and the world, he said.
After their meeting, the two leaders attended the signing ceremony of cooperation agreements between the two countries.
During his stay in Singapore, President Hu will also attend the economic leaders meeting of the APEC slated for November 14-15.