Interview
The Belt and Road Initiative Brings New Opportunities to Singapore
Seetao 2023-03-27 14:31
  • Singapore supports the Belt and Road Initiative and sees it as a good move from China
  • The Belt and Road Initiative is welcomed by the entire region as it helps China integrate into a regional network of cooperation and interdependence for mutual benefit and win-win results
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As the leader of Singapore, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore thinks about the country's unique development model; in the face of the changes of the times, he believes that it is necessary to keep pace with the times while not forgetting the origin; embrace multilateral cooperation, and he praised the Belt and Road Initiative as popular Win-win mode.

How to define the relationship between China and New Zealand?

Lee Hsien Loong said that the relationship between the two countries is very good, extensive and involves many fields. New Zealand and China established diplomatic relations in 1990, that is, 33 years ago, but in fact, the two countries had cooperated for many years before the establishment of diplomatic relations, so they understand each other. The two countries have launched government-to-government cooperation projects, including the Suzhou Industrial Park project, the Tianjin Eco-city project, and the Chongqing Connectivity Demonstration Project.

Lee Hsien Loong: I think the cooperation project between the two parties is very successful. Of course, there is also very extensive cooperation between the private enterprises of the two countries. Also, we have some specific things to do. For example, our free trade agreement with China, which was revised before, is now being revisited. We are conducting follow-up negotiations and hope to conclude them as soon as possible.

At the same time, Lee Hsien Loong also believes that China's development has brought huge benefits to Southeast Asia. China is the largest trading partner for almost every Southeast Asian country, and so is Singapore. This is a huge economic opportunity.

As a country that joined the Belt and Road Initiative earlier, how does Singapore view this initiative?

Lee Hsien Loong said Singapore supports the Belt and Road Initiative and thinks it is a good move proposed by China. China is developing, China is moving towards prosperity, and China's position in the world is becoming more and more important. In Singapore's view, the Belt and Road Initiative is a way for China to contribute to regional development. The Belt and Road Initiative is welcomed by the entire region as it helps China integrate into a regional network of cooperation and interdependence, which is mutually beneficial and win-win.

Regional development needs infrastructure, and infrastructure needs financing. With these capabilities, China can build infrastructure, provide financing, and develop economic and trade ties with countries in the region. With the Belt and Road Initiative, there is a framework within which these ideas can be realized.

Lee Hsien Loong: China is the largest economy in our region, and it is very important to have an open, sustainable and mutually beneficial relationship with China. From this perspective, we believe that the Belt and Road Initiative is meaningful and we support it.

As an island nation with limited resources, how can Singapore achieve prosperity and development?

According to Lee Hsien Loong, Singapore is a small country surrounded by bigger neighbors and this will never change. If it realizes that, Singapore has to make up for its weaknesses and make other people feel like saying, yes, Singapore has redeeming qualities, let's work with Singapore to make better use of those strengths.

Singapore wants to make friends with many countries. If we can reach an agreement with friendly countries on important issues of mutual concern, it will not only help us economically, but also help Singapore to build a network and improve its status in the world.

Lee Hsien Loong: At home, we have to work together and care for each other, recognizing that we are all Singaporeans, so no matter what arguments or differences we have, it is more important to remember our common identity. Editor/Xu Shengpeng


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