Ambassador Sun Haiyan publishes a signed article entitled "Warm Reunion, New Journey" in Lianhe Zaobao

2022-11-04 11:05

On 4 November 2022, H.E. Ms. Sun Haiyan, Chinese Ambassador to Singapore, has published a signed article in Lianhe Zaobao entitled "Warm Reunion, New Journey", introducing Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng's visit to Singapore and the 18th Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC). The full text is as follows:

On 1-2 November 2022, Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng visited Singapore, had an in-depth exchange of views with Singaporean President Halimah Yacob, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and other Singaporean leaders on the development of China-Singapore relationship and the international and regional situation, and co-chaired the 18th Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat. This is the first time in three years since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic that China and Singapore have held face-to-face meetings of the bilateral cooperation mechanism. The high expectations of both sides for the meeting were reflected in the strong line-up of 18 ministers from both countries, in the sincere and friendly exchanges between the two sides, and in the concrete and substantive outcomes of the meeting. The two sides signed a total of 19 Memorandums of Understanding and cooperation agreements, covering many areas such as connectivity, green development and green finance, e-commerce, public health, innovation and tourism. The two sides also reached consensus on deepening cooperation in emerging areas such as green development and digital economy, jointly promoting regional economic integration, and fostering regional prosperity and stability.

Vice Premier Han and the delegation introduced the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, emphasizing that it is an important congress held at a critical moment when China is embarking on a new journey to build a moderately prosperous society in all respects and marching towards its second centenary goal. China will accelerate its efforts to foster a new development paradigm with domestic circulation as the mainstay and domestic and international circulations reinforcing each other, open up at a higher level, achieve high-quality development, and create more development opportunities for regional countries, including Singapore. Both China and Singapore have successfully embarked on a modernization path befitting one’s own national conditions, and the development philosophies and needs of the two countries are highly compatible, laying a solid foundation for alignment of development strategies and deeper practical cooperation in various fields. China is also willing to work with Singapore to promote governance capacity building, improve risk management and response capabilities, and effectively deal with “gray rhino” events. The Singaporean side expressed congratulations on the success of the 20th CPC National Congress and believed that the congress has opened an important new chapter for China. Singapore is confident about China's future and believes that China's development will bring more opportunities to the world.

It was my pleasure to accompany Vice Premier Han throughout the activities during his stay in Singapore. I was immersed in all the events, which left me with deep feelings and impressions. Here I wish to share three of my observations:

First, the leaders of both countries attach great importance to and personally promote the China-Singapore relationship. The visit of Vice Premier Han is not only his first visit since the Covid-19 broke out nearly three years ago, but also the first foreign visit of a Chinese leader after the 20th Party Congress, underscoring the high importance that China attaches to Singapore and the bilateral relationship. For Singapore’s part, the Singaporean side confirmed within a very short time that President Halimah Yacob, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat and Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong would meet with Vice Premier Han. Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean came to visit Vice Premier Han, his old friend, at the hotel where the latter was staying. During the meetings, the two sides fondly recalled years of working together and frankly discussed priorities to work on. Watching the exchange in trust and friendship between the leaders, I strongly feel that the steady development of China-Singapore relations over the past decades has been attributed to the passion and dedication of the leaders of both countries, which will surely provide a fundamental guarantee for further cooperation between the two countries.

Second, various departments of both countries work passionately and actively to promote China-Singapore cooperation. The spacious conference room for the JCBC meeting was full of attendants from both sides. On each side of the table, the ministers, who are usually super busy, spent the whole afternoon concentrating on the meetings and discussions. In order to ensure efficiency and success of the meetings, the two working-level teams held intensive consultations before the meetings, and in some cases, special ministerial meetings were held to iron out the details. Each minister spoke succinctly at the meeting, not only summarizing past experience incisively, but also making precise suggestions for cooperation next year. The heads of departments on both sides also squeezed out time in between the meetings to discuss more thoroughly, trying to make the most of the opportunity to meet physically after an interval of three years. Watching the ministers on both sides working so passionately, I strongly feel that China-Singapore cooperation has always been at the forefront of the times over the years is inseparable from the dedication and unremitting efforts of all the departments. And such dedication and efforts will surely inject vigorous momentum into our future cooperation.

Third, there are huge potential and broad scope for mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation between China and Singapore. The less than 24 hours visit was packed with efficient conference, cordial meetings, in-depth interactions and pleasant dinner. Both sides felt that our ideas and directions for future development are so aligned, our challenges and tasks ahead so similar, the areas and projects of cooperation so extensive, and the space and agenda to be explored so broad. Both sides, from the top to the working level, were busy and hardworking, and at the same time excited and exhilarated. Looking at this scene, I strongly feel that as long as both sides promote cooperation together with a sense of urgency and mission, we will surely turn the expectations of the two peoples for a better life into reality step by step.

President Xi Jinping often said that the completion of a task requires ten percent effort in deployment and ninety percent in implementation. Looking to the future, let’s roll up our sleeves and move forward together rain or shine!