Vice-President Xi arrives in Singapore

(China Daily)
Updated: 2010-11-15 07:55
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A four-nation visit to Asia and Africa begins well with regional ally

SINGAPORE - Chinese Vice-President Xi Jinping arrived in Singapore on Sunday, kicking off his four-nation trip to Asia and Africa.

Singapore is the first stop of Xi's visit since he was elected vice-chairman of the State Central Military Commission.

During his stay in Singapore he is set to attend a series of events marking the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Singapore, including the unveiling of a monument commemorating the late Chinese leader and reformer Deng Xiaoping.

Xi will also deliver a speech at a reception to celebrate the anniversary.

Xi made the visit as the guest of Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. Aside from the Singaporean prime minister, he will hold meetings and talks with Singaporean president Sellapan Ramanathan, Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew and other leaders.

Before Xi's visit, China's Ambassador to Singapore Wei Wei said in an interview with Xinhua that - since this year marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries - the celebrations on the occasion would reach climax with Vice-President Xi's visit.

Xi said he hoped his visit would further consolidate and strengthen China's friendly ties with Singapore, and enhance the China-Singapore relations to a new level.

Xi also said in his written speech that China and Singapore are two friendly neighbors - and that the two sides boast a profound friendship.

China and Singapore first established diplomatic relations in 1990. From 1990 to 2009, bilateral trade volume has accelerated from $2.82 billion to $47.87 billion. Currently, China is Singapore's third-biggest trading partner, while Singapore is China's ninth-biggest trading partner.

Cooperation in technology, culture and other sectors, meanwhile, is also flourishing. A groundbreaking ceremony for the China Cultural Center in Singapore will be held during Xi's current visit.

The bilateral ties have progressed significantly, and the two sides have maintained high-level exchanges. Just as Xi said in his written speech, the smooth development has not only brought substantial benefits to both China's and Singapore's peoples, but also contributed to the regional peace and development in large.

Xi is also to visit South Africa, Angola and Botswana during the four-nation journey.

China Daily-Xinhua