China-Singapore cooperation

People walk in the tourist area surrounding Houhai Lake during Chinese National Day holidays in Beijing, China, 2 October 2020. (Thomas Peter/Reuters)

What can Singapore learn from China?

Two Singaporean businessmen reflect on their years spent working in China, and consider the Chinese approaches and attitudes that Singapore can do well to learn from. With the right bold strategic moves, more targeted incentives to specific sectors and also to civil servants, as well as an openness to adapt some of the lessons from countries like China, Singapore can remain globally relevant in these very uncertain times.
Ke Huanzhang (left) and Liu Thai Ker are veteran urban planners in China and Singapore. (SPH)

Liu Thai Ker and Ke Huanzhang: Urban planners are servants of the city

How do urban planners go about their work and what contributions do they make to the building of liveable cities? Ke Huanzhang, former head of the Beijing Academy of Urban Planning and Design, is all for the seamless melding of a good ecological environment, living facilities, jobs and public services in a city. Liu Thai Ker, the former chief architect and CEO of Singapore’s Housing Development Board, says a good planner needs to have the heart of a humanist, the brain of a scientist, and the eye of an artist. Tan Ying Zhen speaks to the veteran urban planners as part of a series of fireside chats put together to commemorate the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Singapore and China.
A general view of Chongqing, September 2019. (SPH)

Connecting Chongqing and Southeast Asia: Challenges and potential of China-Singapore (Chongqing) Connectivity Initiative

Chongqing’s GDP accounted for 2.3% of China’s total GDP in 2019, and roughly 2.4% of China-ASEAN bilateral trade volume. As the China-Singapore (Chongqing) Connectivity Initiative (CCI) enters its fifth year, EAI academic Yu Hong looks at the CCI and its major project, the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor (western corridor), and discusses the challenges the western corridor faces in building itself as the foremost connectivity channel between western Chinese and ASEAN enterprises.
China paramount leader Deng Xiaoping (left) is seen shaking hands with Singapore founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew when Deng first visited Singapore, November 1978. (Ministry of Information and the Arts)

Reflections by George Yeo: Celebrating 30 years of diplomatic relations between Singapore and China

Singapore's former Foreign Minister George Yeo looks back at the years of engagement between Singapore and China, including the period before the two countries established formal diplomatic ties. He says that while Singapore’s “Chinese-ness” had some part to play in building strong ties over the years, it is paramount that this be distinguished from Singapore’s status as an independent, sovereign, multiracial country. As China continues to rise and US-China tensions continue to fester, ASEAN and Singapore would need to be watchful of issues that could derail relations with China. Notwithstanding, there is much room for cooperation that the region can be sanguine about.
In 1988, Lee Kuan Yew met 84-year-old Chinese paramount leader Deng Xiaoping at the Fujian Room of the Great Hall of the People. This was Lee’s last meeting with Deng. (SPH)

Beyond 30 years: History, places and images of Singapore-China relations

In commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Singapore and China, Lianhe Zaobao and ThinkChina present "In the Founders' Footsteps", a pictorial retrospective of Deng Xiaoping's visit to Singapore in 1978 and of Lee Kuan Yew's 33 trips to China between 1976 and 2011. Lee Huay Leng, editor of the photobook, says she was surprised not only by how widely Lee had travelled during those years, but by Lee's steadfast belief in China's reform and opening up. His predictions of China's future and its relations to the world also struck her as visionary and prescient.      
20 August 2020: Yang (left) visited the Deng Xiaoping Marker at ACM Green, which commemorates Deng’s landmark visit to Singapore in 1978 and his contributions to the friendship between Singapore and China. (SPH)

Yang Jiechi’s Singapore visit: Seeking strategic space

China appears to be making a concerted effort to reach out to friendlier countries in an effort to draw them closer. Yang Jiechi, who is a Politburo member and director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs, is visiting Singapore and South Korea this week. ISEAS academic Lye Liang Fook thinks that both China and Singapore are seeking to broaden their strategic space amid a more unpredictable and precarious world.
Lianhe Zaobao recently interviewed Chinese ambassador to Singapore Hong Xiaoyong. (SPH)

Chinese ambassador to Singapore Hong Xiaoyong: China-Singapore ties tested and strengthened through the pandemic

From working to keep supply chains open to establishing “fast lanes” for essential travel, China and Singapore have been working together to face the tough challenges of the pandemic. Beyond pomp and pageantry, these actions are a sign of the strong ties that the two countries have forged over the last 30 years and more. In a recent interview with Lianhe Zaobao, Chinese ambassador to Singapore Hong Xiaoyong said Singapore and China have been working together this year, showing the strength of bilateral relations. And when the coronavirus is over, Singapore and China will be able to cooperate in more areas. With ASEAN becoming China’s top trading partner for the first time ever in the first half of the year, there is even greater scope for China-ASEAN cooperation.
Singapore Ambassador to China Lui Tuck Yew spoke to Zaobao on Singapore-China relations. (SPH)

Singapore’s ambassador to China Lui Tuck Yew: Singapore must stay relevant to China

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral relations between China and Singapore. In a recent interview with Lianhe Zaobao, Singapore’s Ambassador to China Lui Tuck Yew takes stock of the relationship, speaks of the challenges and opportunities brought about by Covid-19, and looks ahead to greater heights that the two countries can scale together through greater collaboration and cooperation.
There is a huge potential in the healthcare market in China and the demand for good healthcare will outstrip the supply. However, the planning and strategies around the future of healthcare in China arguably have not put enough consideration into the patients’ experience. (iStock)

Visiting the doctor as a foreigner in China: I see potential for collaboration

It was a very different time when Kwek So Cheer visited the doctor in China prior to the Covid-19 outbreak. Nevertheless, recent events have highlighted the need for countries to band together, sharing knowledge and expertise, not least in healthcare management. Speaking from personal experience, Kwek thinks that Singapore can collaborate with China to build a better healthcare experience beyond this special period.