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Homesingapore asiaPM Lee Hsien Loong sends condolences over death of former China premier...

PM Lee Hsien Loong sends condolences over death of former China premier Li Keqiang

SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Saturday (Oct 28) expressed his condolences over the death of former Chinese premier Li Keqiang, calling him a “statesman who served his country with great dedication”.

Mr Li died of a heart attack on Friday, aged 68, about seven months after retiring from a decade in office.

“Under his leadership, China overcame many challenges, pressed on with reform and opening-up, and achieved economic development that dramatically improved the lives of the Chinese people,” Mr Lee wrote in a letter to China’s Premier Li Qiang.

He noted that he first met the former premier in 2005 in Shenyang, the capital of Liaoning province, and worked closely with him over the years to strengthen the partnership between Singapore and China.

“I warmly recall his official visit to Singapore as premier in 2018, which gave our bilateral cooperation a timely boost,” said Mr Lee.

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The Prime Minister said there were “several key bilateral milestones” during Mr Li’s tenure as premier.

These include the establishment of the China-Singapore (Chongqing) Demonstration Initiative on Strategic Connectivity, the launch of the Singapore-China (Shenzhen) Smart City Initiative, as well as the upgraded protocol of the China-Singapore Free Trade Agreement.

“Mr Li also played an important role in strengthening ASEAN-China cooperation, representing China at ASEAN Summits over the past decade,” he said.

“Today, ASEAN and China are each other’s largest trading partners.

“The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and ASEAN-China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership are amongst Mr Li’s lasting contributions to regional integration.”

He added: “Our thoughts are with the people of China.”

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