|Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (R) holds a welcoming ceremony for visiting Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong before their talks in Beijing, capital of China, Aug. 26, 2013. (Xinhua/Li Tao)
BEIJING, Aug. 26 (Xinhua) -- Premier Li Keqiang said Monday that China and Singapore should strengthen exchanges and cooperation in various fields and bolster communication and coordination on international and regional issues.
The development of bilateral relations and cooperation has brought about important benefits for both countries since the establishment of diplomatic ties, Li said in a meeting with his Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong at the Great Hall of the People.
New changes are taking place in domestic and international environments that the two countries are facing. China and Singapore should further consolidate the political foundation of their relations and earn understanding and support from their peoples, Li said.
Li called on the two sides to communicate and coordinate on global and regional affairs, understand and respect each other, and promote a sound, steady development of the bilateral ties.
Lee said Singapore highly values its ties with China and will strengthen their exchanges, improve cooperation mechanism, expand cooperation, and upgrade their free trade area.
With regard to relations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Li said the two sides increased mutual trust through dialogue in the past ten years. The China-ASEAN free trade area also drew regional cooperation. Their cooperation has become the impetus and pillar of regional development and stability.
Li said the new administration of China will take the relations with ASEAN as a priority in neighboring relations, and will further consolidate and deepen their strategic partnership.
China will also handle well the problems left over by history with some ASEAN members, and maintain the overall situation of China-ASEAN cooperation, the premier said.
Lee said friendly cooperation is the main stream of ASEAN-China relations. Singapore will work with China to push China-ASEAN relations and regional cooperation to a new high.
In the talks, Li stressed China's determination for peaceful development as well as its unswerving will to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
China always stands for solutions through negotiation and consultation between parties directly concerned, with regard to the disputes between some countries in the region, Li said. He noted that any action that may complicate or escalate the situation is inadvisable.
China will strive for peace, stability and development of the region and the world, and hopes Singapore can play a constructive role in this regard, Li said.
Lee said Singapore appreciates China's support of ASEAN and its positive role in regional peace, stability and growth. He also voiced support for friendly and peaceful consultation between relevant countries to solve their disputes.
Lee is paying an official visit to China from Aug. 25 to 31 at the invitation of Li. Besides Beijing, Lee will also travel to Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in northwest China and Liaoning Province in northeast China.