Chinese President Xi Jinping said Saturday that China is willing to work with Singapore to deepen practical cooperation in various fields, with the high-quality implementation of the Belt & Road Initiative as the main focus.

President Xi made the remarks in an exchange of congratulatory messages with Singaporean President Halimah Yacob to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Over the past 30 years, in the face of changing international situation, China and Singapore have understood and supported each other and kept pace with the times to promote the development of bilateral relations, Xi noted.

The cooperation between the two countries goes beyond the bilateral scope and plays an exemplary role at the regional and international levels, he said.

Noting that the world is undergoing profound changes unseen in a century with the COVID-19 pandemic still raging across the globe, Xi said countries are facing dual challenges of fighting the pandemic and reviving their economies.

He added that he attaches great importance to the development of China-Singapore relations.

China stands ready to join efforts with Singapore to uphold multilateralism and free trade, push for greater progress of bilateral relations and contribute to regional and world stability and prosperity, Xi said.

In her message, Halimah said over the past 30 years, Singapore-China relations have been developing vigorously with pragmatic cooperation continuously advancing and people-to-people ties growing closer.

In the face of the pandemic, the two countries have extended assistance to each other, jointly promoted economic recovery, maintained unimpeded trade and stable supply chains and opened up many new areas of cooperation, Halimah said, adding that she is confident that greater progress will be made in bilateral relations in the next 30 years.

On the same day, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang also exchanged congratulatory messages with Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Li said China is ready to work with Singapore to take the 30th anniversary as an opportunity to keep pace with the times and break new ground, deepen alignment of their development strategies, and help the two countries and the region overcome challenges so as to embrace brighter prospects for development.

For his part, Lee said Singapore and China have forged a strong and mutually beneficial relationship and maintained sound cooperation in regional and international arenas.
Singapore stands ready to work with China to consolidate the multilateral framework that binds the world and bring bilateral relations to a higher level, Lee said.