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Remarks by Ambassador Hong Xiaoyong At the Welcoming Reception
2018/04/26

Honourable Attorney-General Mr Lucien Wong,

Distinguished Guests, Excellencies, Dear Friends,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

Good Evening! I am truly honoured with such a big gathering of so many friends, old and new, at my reception tonight. Please allow me to extend my warm welcome to all friends from Singapore, from China, from all walks of life, as well as from diplomatic missions here in Singapore.

This is my second posting in Singapore after 10 years. As many of you may know, I arrived 40 days ago. The experience over the past 40 days has rekindled my fond memories of the lovely country, like the good old taste of Bak Kut Teh, Chicken Rice and Black Pepper Crab.

Singapore also gives me new experiences. I have visited Marina Bay area, which has undergone huge transformation. The skyline has been changed by new landmarks like Marina Bay Sands Hotel and Gardens by the Bay. I have also have taken the opportunities to stroll along Singapore streets. What I see is a flourishing and vibrant state under good governance. Singapore has never stopped at its past achievements and always strives for excellence through economic transition and national innovation. I am proud to serve as the 11th Chinese Ambassador to this great country.

Singapore and China-Singapore relations are all moving fast on the upward trajectory, which puts great responsibility on my shoulders. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the reform and opening up and also the 40th year of Mr. Deng Xiaoping’s visit to Singapore. It was 40 years ago that China took the first major step to change its future and that China and Singapore embarked on the historic journey of cooperation. We have accomplished a great deal together. China has learned a lot from Singapore, and Singapore has also drawn strength from cooperation with China. Our two countries have grown together in the process of mutual learning and mutually beneficial cooperation.

In 2015, President Xi Jinping visited Singapore. During the visit, our leaders established All-Round Cooperative Partnership Progressing with the Times and ushered in a new era of bilateral relations. In this new era, we have never forgotten our original aspirations. By drawing wisdom from the past while progressing with the times, we have further expanded and deepened our cooperation. For example, China and Singapore have grown into each other’s major trading and investment partners. Over 7,500 Chinese businesses have registered in Singapore. The Belt and Road initiative has been a cooperation platform in the new era. The government-to-government projects, the Southern Transportation Corridor and the third-party cooperation have enabled us to dovetail our growth strategies and contribute to the well-being of our people as well as the cooperation across the region. The times may change, but we will never waiver in our efforts to seek common development through cooperation. It will always be the theme of our relations and will always remain as our common aspiration.

Without support and participation of our people, China-Singapore relations would not have enjoyed long-term stable growth. In the new era, it is all the more important to cement friendship and mutual understanding between our people. It is also an agreement reached by our leaders. The two governments, as well as the social organizations of China and Singapore, have done a great job in this regard. I am encouraged by the progress we have made and would like to pay high tribute to those who have relentlessly contributed to the people-to-people relations. As the new Ambassador, I will also work hard in this area.

Two weeks ago, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong paid a successful visit to China. Our leaders had in-depth discussions on cooperation across the board. They agreed to promote China-Singapore relations progressing with the times, stay with the trend of openness and cooperation and advance negotiations of China-Singapore FTA upgrading and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. The two countries will always be the forces for the globalization and free and open trade.

The 19th CPC Congress declared that China has entered a new era and laid out a grand “two-step” blueprint leading all the way to 2050. In the keynote speech at the opening ceremony of Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2018, President Xi Jinping announced a series of significant measures that open China wider to the world. These measures demonstrate China’s resolute to pursue opening-up and cooperation and to share its development opportunities with the rest of the world. I believe that the new era of China’s development and opening-up will inject greater driving force to the cooperation between China and Singapore.

China also attaches great importance to its relations with ASEAN and highly values Singapore’s role and influence within ASEAN as its important member state. China will continue to give full support to Singapore in fulfilling the duty as ASEAN Chair and the country coordinator of China-ASEAN relations. This year marks the 15th anniversary of the China-ASEAN Strategic Partnership. We are ready to work with Singapore and other ASEAN member states to score new and greater achievements in China-ASEAN relations.

I have every confidence in China-Singapore relations for now and future. I will exert all my effort to enhance our mutual trust, our cooperation across the board and the friendship between our two peoples. In carrying out these missions, I would be grateful for the full support of the Singapore government as well as friends from all sectors. I have no doubt that my stay in Singapore will be joyful and meaningful, making my diplomatic career full of memorable moments.

Now I would like to propose a toast:

To the growth of China-Singapore relations!

To the health of all the guests!

Cheers!

 

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