World / Asia-Pacific

Chinese vice premier visits Singapore to promote ties

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-10-13 09:48

As bilateral relations strode forward, both China and Singapore are mulling a new intergovernmental project in China's western region.

During a week-long visit to China in June, Singaporean President Tony Tan discussed the possible new project with Chinese leaders and was told by his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping that China hoped that it will become "an exemplary one" in China's " Belt and Road" initiative.

The Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, proposed by Xi in 2013, are aimed at reviving the ancient trade routes that span Asia, Africa and Europe.

Chinese Ambassador to Singapore Chen Xiaodong said in a recent interview that both sides will discuss bilateral cooperation at a wider and deeper level during the visit, including the third intergovernmental project and the upgrading of a bilateral free- trade agreement signed in October 2008.

According to Chen, the third project will focus on connectivity, modern logistics and finance.

Zhang's entourage also included officials from Chongqing Municipality, an economic hub along the Yangtze River in western China.

On the upgrading of the free-trade agreement, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in his visit to Singapore in August that a negotiation on the issue should be launched as soon as possible on the basis of feasibility study.

"Singapore can benefit a lot from the trade and investment exchanges with China," said Gu Qingyang, associate professor of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore (NUS).

On the other side, China's "Belt and Road" initiative can bring opportunities and add impetus to Singapore's economy, he added.

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