Chinese President Xi Jinping called to congratulate Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong over the phone on Tuesday, July 14, for the election victory of his People's Action Party (PAP).
2020 marks 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Singapore & China
According to a statement released by Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) on the same day, PM Lee and Xi reaffirmed the strong ties between Singapore and China as both countries mark the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations this year.
They also expressed appreciation for the mutual assistance and support between both sides amidst the Covid-19 outbreak, the statement said.
In addition, both leaders exchanged views on ways to facilitate an economic recovery during the pandemic by strengthening cross-border and supply chain connectivity, as well as finance, trade and investment cooperation.
They welcomed bilateral and international cooperation to address the public health and socio-economic impact of the pandemic, the statement added.
Both leaders discussed cooperation initiatives
MFA said both leaders also discussed the continued progress in key bilateral projects such as the China-Singapore (Chongqing) Demonstration Initiative on Strategic Connectivity-New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor, as well as cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative.
They exchanged views on regional and international developments, the ministry added.
PM Lee also conveyed his condolences on the recent floods in China, and expressed confidence in China’s ability to overcome this challenge.
China is now experiencing its worst flood season in more than three decades, Reuters reported.
Xi said he believes in PM Lee's leadership
In a Facebook post on the same day, the Chinese Embassy in Singapore said that in the phone call between the leaders, Xi expressed his belief in PM Lee's leadership, saying that the Singaporean people will "overcome the epidemic very soon".
Both countries should "make good use" of fast lane
In addition, Xi noted that both countries took the lead in establishing a fast lane for necessary personnel exchanges.
Saying that China will continue to deepen its reform and opening up, as well as improve its business environment, Xi hopes Singapore will "provide good conditions for Chinese enterprises in future economic activities", the Chinese Embassy said.
Besides strengthening anti-epidemic cooperation between both countries to ensure the health and safety of citizens on both sides, both countries should "make good use" of the fast lane to speed up the resumption of work, aiding the recovery of both economies, Xi said.
China first country Singapore reopened border with
China is the first country that Singapore agreed to reopen its border with, albeit with added safety measures in place.
Singapore's MFA and Ministry of Trade and Industry announced on June 3 that both countries will have a fast lane that allows for essential business and official travel between both countries.
Approved visitors will have to be tested for Covid-19 before and upon arrival.
Top image of Lee and Xi in Singapore back in 2015 via Xinhua