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Premier Li Hopes for Singapore Support in High-Speed Railway

China hopes Singapore will support Chinese enterprises who wish to participate in the Singapore-Malaysia high-speed railway project, Premier Li Keqiang said on September 19.

"China has cutting-edge, safe and reliable, cost-effective high-speed railway technology," Li said in his talks with visiting Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Malaysia and Singapore have agreed to build a 360-km high-speed rail link between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, which is expected to start operation by December 2026 and cut travel time to about 90 minutes.

Singapore welcomes Chinese businesses to the project, Lee said.

Both sides will work for progress in negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and upgrading the bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

China looks to new development in three inter-governmental projects: Suzhou Industrial Park, the Tianjin Eco-City and the Chongqing Connectivity Initiative, Li said.

The premier supports more exchanges in culture, social governance, defense, law enforcement and security.

China is the largest trading partner for Singapore while Singapore is the largest source of foreign investment for China, Li said.

"China is willing to synergize the Belt and Road Initiative with Singapore's development strategy to improve trade and investment cooperation," Li said, proposing more partnership in finance, science and technology and innovation.

"China welcomes more Singaporean businesses to invest in China, not only in China's coastal areas but also in central and western regions," Li said.

Stressing ASEAN is China's diplomatic priority, Li said China backs Singapore, as coordinator for China-ASEAN relations and the 2018 rotating chair for ASEAN, to continue to play a constructive role in China-ASEAN relations and East Asia cooperation.

Lee said Singapore will work with China to improve regional connectivity, finance, investment, aviation and information technology partnerships.

Lee thanked China's support for the ASEAN development and said Singapore will be delighted to see bilateral ties to grow.

Prior to the talks, Li held a red-carpet welcome ceremony for the Singaporean prime minister at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

(Xinhua News Agency September 19, 2017) 

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