Message for the 30th anniversary of the establishment of Singapore-China Diplomatic Relations

Lui Tuck Yew, Singapore's Ambassador to the People's Republic of China

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2020 marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of Diplomatic Relations between Singapore and China. Our two countries share a close and longstanding friendship which predates the establishment of Diplomatic Relations in 1990. It is built upon a foundation of close cooperation, economic links, cultural ties, mutual exchanges of experiences and learning between successive generations of Singapore and Chinese leaders and our peoples.

For the past 30 years, Singapore has found ways to be relevant to China at each stage of its development. Our major Government-to-Government projects take direction from our understanding of China’s priorities. This partnership has evolved as needs change. Our first project, the Suzhou Industrial Park, started in 1994 as a bilateral project for Singapore to share our industrialisation experiences with China. Our second project, the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city, strives to create an environmentally friendly and resource-conserving city in China. Our latest project, the Chongqing Connectivity Initiative, aims to catalyse the growth of the western region through better transport, financial and data connectivity.

As China embarks on the development of city clusters, Singapore continues to actively identify further areas of collaboration. We see potential in many of the proposed developments such as the Greater Bay Area and the Yangtze River Delta. We recently launched the Singapore-China (Shenzhen) Smart City Initiative that will complement the ongoing Singapore-China Guangzhou Knowledge City project as part of our engagement in the Greater Bay Area. Similarly, we will use the Singapore-Shanghai Comprehensive Cooperation Council to further our partnership with China in the Yangtze River Delta development.

Singapore and China have also found ways to support each other in times of need. Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, Singapore and China have been cooperating extensively. At the peak of the COVID-19 outbreak in China, Singapore companies, community organisations and Singaporeans raised about RMB 35 million for China, and donated diagnostic test kits as well as medical supplies. In return, both Central and Provincial governments in China and Chinese individuals reciprocated our earlier generosity and donated medical supplies during our time of need. The outbreak has also sparked new areas of potential cooperation in public healthcare, vaccines and therapeutics. Such friendship and cooperation serve as a testament of our close government-to-government and people-to-people ties.

Although Singapore and China are vastly different in size, we share similar challenges relating to economic and social governance. We have common goals to create good jobs and raise the standard of living for our peoples. We also need to overcome the twin challenges of income inequality and social mobility. Hence, Singapore and China can work together to engineer solutions that will benefit the peoples of both our countries.

As we reflect on the journey taken by Singapore and China over the past 30 years, we are thankful for the strong foundation laid by the former leaders of both countries. On this foundation, we aspire to bring Singapore-China relations to scale new heights and explore new frontiers of cooperation. As the Singapore Ambassador to China, I look forward to contributing to this worthy endeavour.