19 September 2017
Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will begin a three-day visit to China on Tuesday in a sign that relations between the nations could be getting back to normal after an uncertain few months.
In May, Lee did not attend a summit in Beijing about the grand plan to boost infrastructure and trade links from Asia to Africa, which cast a shadow over bilateral ties.
His absence came after Beijing blamed Singapore for siding with the United States on South China Sea disputes – in which Singapore is not a claimant – and honouring an international tribunal ruling from July 2016 that dismissed most of Beijing’s claims to the disputed waters.
Li Mingjiang, an associate professor at S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies of Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, said that Lee’s trip, which follows a visit to Beijing in June by Singapore’s Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, showed that “small troubles have not shaken the foundation of the two countries’ bilateral ties”.
On the economic front, the two leaders were likely to discuss how Singapore could provide a platform for Chinese businesses to explore opportunities in the region, he said.
IDSS / Online / Print
Last updated on 19/09/2017