Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong met with visiting Chinese State Councillor and Defence Minister Wei Fenghe here on Thursday, with both sides expressing willingness to strengthen pragmatic cooperation and jointly safeguard peace and stability in the region.

In recent years, high-level exchanges have been frequent between the two countries, and bilateral ties have been developing smoothly, Lee said.

The communication and cooperation in various fields, including military, between the two sides have yielded substantial results. In particular the jointly-promoted Belt and Road construction has been facilitating regional inter-connectivity and economic development, he said.

The development of China is beneficial to the world, Lee said. Under the new circumstances, countries should enhance communication, and promote understanding and trust, so as to achieve common development, he added.

For his part, Wei said the China-Singapore all-round cooperative partnership progressing with the times has been developing under the guidance of the leaders of the two countries.

“China and Singapore are partners of reform and opening-up, partners of mutual benefits and win-win, partners of jointly building the Belt and Road,” he said.

The Chinese military is willing to work with its Singaporean counterpart to enhance strategic mutual trust, strengthen pragmatic cooperation, and contribute to the development of China-Singapore relations as well as peace and stability in the region, the Chinese defence chief added.

Wei is here to for an official visit to Singapore and the upcoming Shangri-La Dialogue, officially known as the Asia Security Summit slated for May 31-June 2. He held talks with his Singaporean counterpart Ng Eng Hen on Wednesday.