SINGAPORE: The bilateral relations between China and Singapore are now at its best period in history, a senior Chinese diplomat has said.
In a recent exclusive interview with Xinhua, Chinese Ambassador to Singapore Zhang Xiaokang said that China and Singapore have maintained frequent high-level visits, enhanced their political trust and developed mutual beneficial cooperation in various aspects in recent years. The trade volume between the two countries reached over 52.4 billion US dollars last year, up 10.5 percent over the previous year.
The ambassador spoke highly of the upcoming state visit to Singapore by Chinese President Hu Jintao, who will also attend the 17th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting here.
"President Hu's visit, at a time when the two countries are set to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic ties in 1990, is the first visit to Singapore by a Chinese President in 15 years, and marks a milestone in the development of bilateral relations between the two countries," she said.
During his visit, President Hu will exchange views with Singaporean leaders on bilateral and regional and international issues of common concern, and meet local people from all walks of life to discuss the development of bilateral relations and the promotion of communication and cooperation in a wide range of areas between the two countries.
"President Hu's visit is also conducted at a critical moment when the world economy is recovering from the world financial crisis," she said, "China and Singapore are confronted with common challenges such as economic and industrial restructuring and sustainable development. Therefore, during this visit, the two sides will make in-depth discussions on exploring cooperation opportunities in these fields."
Sharing her views on the development of China-Singapore relations, the ambassador said, first, the two countries should maintain regular high-level exchanges, which is the crucial momentum for the progress of cooperation between the two countries in every aspect. Second, the two sides should increase cooperation in economy, trade and technology and environmental protection. Third, they should continue to expand and deepen cultural and people-to-people exchanges and communication. Lastly, China and Singapore should enhance cooperation in regional and international affairs, which provides a platform for the two countries to interact and coordinate on.
"I firmly believe that friendly relations between the two countries, which have enjoyed a glorious history and a fruitful present, will strive for a most promising future," she said.
As for the upcoming APEC meetings, she said that the regional organization has pulled out unremitting efforts in promoting free trade and investment, as well as regional economic integration.