PM Lee congratulates Xi Jinping on 25th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to China

With the support of the central government, I am confident Hong Kong will continue to thrive in the years ahead, he said.

Belmont Lay | July 02, 2022, 03:03 AM

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Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong congratulated China's President Xi Jinping on the 25th anniversary of the return of Hong Kong to the mainland and the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR).

In a letter to Chinese president Xi Jinping, the Singapore leader said Hong Kong "has benefitted from and contributed to mainland China's growth and development under the 'one country, two systems' framework".

"With the support of the central government, I am confident Hong Kong will continue to thrive in the years ahead, and benefit from the many economic opportunities created by its close integration with the mainland," his letter added.

The letter was released in a media statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on July 1.

Close partnership between Singapore and China

PM Lee's letter to Xi also mentioned that Singapore "shares extensive and substantial ties with mainland China".

"This close partnership between Singapore and China has kept pace with the times. Our cooperation is continually progressing, including on government-to-government and state-level projects," PM Lee said.

He added that Singapore has supported the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area (GBA), one of China's regional development strategies.

"Our joint projects such as the China-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City and Singapore-China (Shenzhen) Smart City Initiative will contribute to knowledge and innovation-based growth in the GBA," PM Lee added.

He also said he was confident Singapore and China "will maintain the strong momentum in our bilateral relations".

"Singapore looks forward to continue working with Hong Kong to create new opportunities for our peoples and enhance the vibrancy of our region," he said.

His comments come as Xi visited Hong Kong over June 30 and July 1 to mark the anniversary.

On Friday, Xi defended the "one, country two systems" principle guiding China’s governance of Hong Kong following the return of the territory by UK to the mainland in 1997.

DPM Heng's letter

In a separate letter to Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said Hong Kong "has long exemplified the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation".

"It is also a city known for its indomitable perseverance in the face of difficulty. We have seen this in the past 25 years, as time and again, Hong Kong has managed to overcome the challenges before it, and emerge stronger and more resilient," Heng added.

Top photo of PM Lee Hsien Loong meeting Chinese president Xi Jinping in Boao, south China's Hainan province, on April 10, 2018 via Xinhua