Sat. Apr 1st, 2023

published: 2017-06-18 10:58:04(12 Jun 2017) Singapore supports China’s Belt and Road Initiative, as well as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) for free trade and economic integration, the country’s foreign minister said Monday. Vivian Balakrishnan spoke in Beijing after talks with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi. The two sides have agreed to set up three platforms between the two countries including a platform to boost connectivity, a platform to boost financial cooperation and a platform to promote cooperation with third parties. Bilateral ties between China and Singapore hit low last year after Hong Kong customs seized nine Singaporean military vehicles en route from exercises in Taiwan. The vehicles were returned two months later, but China voiced its displeasure at Singapore’s longstanding policy of conducting military exercises in Taiwan, which Beijing considers a province of it. China decided not to invite Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to last month’s Belt and Road Forum amid strained ties, which is seen as a rare retaliation from China to its trade partner Singapore. US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was seen as setback for Asia, and many countries have turn to China-led RCEP as an alternative.

Negotiations are ongoing for a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) free-trade agreement between the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand.

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