Chinese Premier Li Keqiang
(Photo: AFP/VNA)

Singapore (VNA) – Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrived in Singapore on November 12, starting his first official visit to the Southeast Asian country.

During the visit, Li will attend the 21st ASEAN-China Summit, the 21st ASEAN 3 Summit (with China, Japan and the Republic of Korea) and the 13th East Asia Summit.

The Chinese Premier will meet and hold talks with Singaporean President Halimah Yacob and Prime Minsiter Lee Hsien Loong.

This is the first official visit to Singapore by a Chinese premier in the past 11 years. This year, Singapore holds the position as rotating ASEAN Chair.

In an article published on The Strait Times on November 12, the Chinese Premier called on China and Singapore to consolidate their open and intensive cooperation in all areas and lift the relationship to a new level.

“We hope China and Singapore will see each other's development as an opportunity, as we believe that win-win cooperation will bring about development for China, Singapore and all other countries, making the world a better place,” he said.

Li’s visit is regarded as an important part of China’s comprehensive diplomatic policy aimed at protecting multilateralism and free trade. It takes place right after the first China International Import Expo (CIIE) wrapped up and when Chinese President Xi Jinping has plans to attend the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Papua New Guinea and the G20 Summit in Argentina later this month.

2018 marks the 15th anniversary of the strategic partnership between China and ASEAN as well as 40th years of China’s reform and opening-up, with Singapore contributing valuable experience and investment to this process.-VNA