World / China-Singapore

Xi's visit further deepens Singapore-China ties: PM Lee

(Xinhua/ Updated: 2015-11-08 08:09
Xi's visit further deepens Singapore-China ties: PM Lee

A new variety of orchid was named after Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife at the naming ceremony held in Singapore Botanic Gardens on Saturday. [Photo/Sina Weibo]

Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said he had a fruitful meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday, and Xi's visit has further deepened warm and substantial bilateral ties.

Lee updated his Facebook account Saturday, saying Singapore signed several agreements with China, including the third government-to-government project in Chongqing, the launch of the upgrade of the China-Singapore Free Trade Agreement and collaboration on education, urban management and customs, which will open up more opportunities for mutual exchange, trade, investments and development.

"China's dramatic progress is positive for the region and the world," Lee said. "We will continue to build on what we've achieved since we established diplomatic relations 25 years ago, to take our bilateral relations further forward."

To honor the relationship between China and Singapore, Singapore named a new variety of the national flower orchid, or Papillonanda, after Xi and his wife, Peng Liyuan.

“The naming has been regarded as the highest level of welcome for a foreign leader in Singapore", said Chen Weili, a former official at the national park bureau, adding that the orchid represents lasting friendship between Singapore and other countries.

Singapore has developed a tradition of using foreign leaders' names to name new orchid varieties since 1962.

Early Sunday morning, Xi returned to Beijing after his state visits to Vietnam and Singapore.

Related: Friendships blossom with special flowers

By PAULINED'LOH in Singapore

With its widespread wings it looks set to take off and be true to its name, Papillonanda, after the butterfly. The Papillionanda, named after the Chinese president, is a delicate pink orchid that has taken years to perfect and is Singapore's gift to Xi Jinping and the first lady.

Xi's visit also marks 25 years of diplomatic exchanges between the two countries.

Singapore likes to mark milestones and friendships with the gifting of orchids and there is a special enclosure within the UNESCO World Heritage-recognized Botanic Gardens that protects these valuable plants.

This is the colonial-style bungalow known as Burkhill House, just inside the Orchid Gardens.

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