SINGAPORE: A significant diplomatic journey is set to unfold as Wang Yi, a prominent figure within the Communist Party of China (CPC), arrives in Southeast Asia to foster regional relationships.
Wang Yi, a Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs, along with his role as China’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, is scheduled to embark on a visit to Singapore, Malaysia, and Cambodia over the next few days.
As revealed in a statement by the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the regional tour will commence with Wang Yi’s arrival in Singapore on Thursday (10th Aug).
This visit is in response to an invitation extended by Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan, Singapore’s Minister for Foreign Affairs.
During his stay, he is expected to engage in a series of pivotal meetings aimed at enhancing bilateral cooperation and strengthening diplomatic bonds.
Wang Yi’s itinerary in Singapore includes separate discussions with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Deputy Prime Minister cum Minister for Finance, Lawrence Wong.
Additionally, a dinner hosted by Minister Balakrishnan is on the agenda, providing an informal yet crucial platform for further dialogue.
This diplomatic tour follows Wang Yi’s recent reappointment as China’s Foreign Minister, a role he previously held from 2018 to 2022.
His reinstatement took place after the sudden dismissal of his predecessor, Qin Gang on 25 July, a situation that remains shrouded in mystery.
A pronouncement made via China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs official website indicates that spokesperson Mao Ning disclosed Wang Yi’s travel schedule on Wednesday.
China’s Foreign Ministry underscored the significance of this tour, stating, “China hopes to strengthen strategic communication with the three Southeast Asian countries through this visit.”
The spokesperson of China’s Foreign Ministry elaborated on this stance during a Q&A session with reporters, highlighting that this year commemorates the 10th anniversary of President Xi Jinping’s proposal for a “community with a shared future for mankind” and the “Belt and Road” initiative.
Southeast Asian countries have consistently been significant partners in China’s cooperative efforts under the “Belt and Road” framework, the spokesperson said.
Wang Yi’s last visit to Singapore was in 2021, during which he held discussions with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Policy Coordination Heng Swee Keat, and had a meeting with Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan.
Following his stay in Singapore, Wang Yi will proceed to Malaysia and Cambodia, continuing his mission to cultivate strong ties and cooperation across the Southeast Asian region.
Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim revealed on Tuesday during an event in Penang that Wang Yi is scheduled to visit Malaysia on Friday (11 Aug). At that time, they will meet in Penang.