Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance of the Republic of Singapore Lawrence Wong will visit China from December 5 to 8 at the invitation of Ding Xuexiang, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and Vice Premier, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin announced on Monday.
Ding and Wong will co-chair the 19th meeting of the China-Singapore Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation, the 24th meeting of the China-Singapore Suzhou Industrial Park Joint Steering Council (JSC), the 15th meeting of the China-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City JSC and the seventh meeting of the China-Singapore (Chongqing) Demonstration Initiative on Strategic Connectivity JSC in North China's Tianjin Municipality on December 7, Wang said during a regular press conference, the Xinhua News Agency reported.
This visit shows that both sides aim to push bilateral regional cooperation into a positive cycle and hear feedback from local business communities, in order to step out of the shadow of the pandemic and accelerate the economic recovery, Zhou Shixin, director of the Institute for Foreign Policy Studies at the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, told the Global Times on Monday.
This will be Wong's second visit to China after the COVID-19 pandemic - the first was in May. According to Wong's social media page, he visited financial firm Ant Group and electric car producer Nio in Shanghai and met with local government officials.
Since the beginning of the year, China and Singapore have been maintaining frequent high-level communications.
Experts said Singapore is an essential part of the regional and global financial markets and supply chains, and a stable China-Singapore relationship will promote the economic recovery of both sides, members of ASEAN and the world.
"Singapore supports China's entry to a series of free trade pacts including the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement, and a balance of Chinese and US influence in the region, which will foster a positive China-Singapore relationship," said Zhou.
With the RCEP entering into force in all 15 members in June this year, China and Singapore have shared more common benefits amid closer trade and communication in the Asia-Pacific region. However, the current lack of trade efficiency under the RCEP will be one of the major discussion areas between China and Singapore, said Zhou.
Da Zhigang, director of the Institute of Northeast Asian Studies at Heilongjiang Provincial Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Monday that China-Singapore cooperation in the financial sector has remarkable potential.
"As a regional financial hub, Singapore can facilitate the internationalization of the yuan, and Singapore's experience in investment and influence in the global markets could be referred to by Chinese investors and regulators," said Da.
In March, China and Singapore pledged to continue to advance their all-round high-quality future-oriented partnership as bilateral cooperation has shown strong resilience and vitality.
Da said that a long-term, stable China-Singapore relationship is in line with Singapore's goal to maintain its global strategic position.