SINGAPORE, Singapore President Halimah Yacob and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong have written to their Chinese counterparts to congratulate them on the 69th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China (PRC).

In Halimah's letter to President Xi Jinping, she said China is entering a "new stage of reform".

"China's commitment to the path of economic growth and liberalisation amidst global uncertainties will not only contribute to China's future progress but also boost global trade and development," she said.

Halimah also touched on Singapore-China relations, noting that they are "excellent and have evolved over time".

The cooperation between both countries has "grown beyond the traditional areas of trade and investment to cover new areas" over the years, she said.

She cited examples such as the Belt and Road Initiative, the China-Singapore (Chongqing) Connectivity Initiative-Southern Transport Corridor and the impending upgrade to the China-Singapore Free Trade Agreement.

"Singapore and China have worked well at regional and multilateral fora," wrote Halimah.

"We are working together on a substantive and mutually beneficial Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

"Together, we can send a strong signal of our joint commitment to free trade and a rules-based multilateral trading system."

Lee, in his letter to Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, noted that this year is the fifth anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative.

"Amidst an increasingly uncertain global environment and growing protectionism, China's continued support for trade liberalisation and economic integration will benefit China and the global economy," Lee said.

He described Singapore and China's relationship as "strong and multi-faceted".

"Since Mr Deng Xiaoping's visit to Singapore 40 years ago, our cooperation has broadened and deepened immensely," Lee said.

Lee also mentioned how Singapore, as ASEAN Chair and ASEAN-China Coordinator for the last three years, has worked with China and other ASEAN member states to foster ASEAN-China ties.

"We look forward to celebrating the 15th anniversary of the ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership and setting the ASEAN-China 2030 Vision Statement at the ASEAN Summit in Singapore this year.

"Singapore and China have also worked closely to advance our shared interest in promoting free and open trade," said Lee.

Source: NAM News Network