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China and Singapore move to resume direct flights amidst diplomatic talks

To strengthen ties, China and Singapore plan to reinstate direct flights. This follows a high-level meeting between Foreign Ministers Wang Yi and Vivian Balakrishnan. Their discussions emphasized economic cooperation and cultural exchanges, with further plans for bilateral meetings at the vice prime ministerial level. Wang’s visit underscores his recent reappointment as China’s Foreign Minister.



SINGAPORE — In an effort to foster stronger ties, China and Singapore are expediting the reinstatement of direct flights between the two nations.

This announcement came on Friday from the Chinese foreign ministry following high-level discussions between the foreign ministers of both countries.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with his Singaporean counterpart, Vivian Balakrishnan, on Thursday.

The ministers engaged in comprehensive discussions on various strategic matters, notably emphasizing cooperation in economic trade, cultural exchanges, and tourism.

Furthermore, preparations are underway for a bilateral cooperation mechanism meeting, set to be held at the vice prime ministerial level later this year, as per the ministry’s statement.

This meeting was part of Wang Yi’s four-day diplomatic tour of Southeast Asia, which will also see him visit Malaysia and Cambodia. The tour commenced with his arrival in Singapore on 10 August in response to an invitation from Dr Balakrishnan.

On the very first day, the two ministers shared dinner at Singapore’s renowned Botanic Gardens.

Dr Balakrishnan, in a subsequent Facebook post, highlighted their discussions on “mutual interest in furthering tourism, business flows, and air connectivity between the countries.”

Reflecting on their discussions, Dr Balakrishnan mentioned their commitment to the ‘All-Round High-Quality Future-Oriented Partnership,’ a vision conceived during Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s visit to China earlier in March.

Their dialogue also touched upon regional and international developments and the aspiration to enhance collaboration between ASEAN and China.

Dr Balakrishnan acknowledged the ongoing positive interactions between the two nations, stating, “We will continue to explore ways to enhance our cooperation, especially in areas like connectivity, the digital economy, and sustainable development.”

On Friday, Wang Yi met with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Lawrence Wong.

This diplomatic journey holds significance in the backdrop of Wang Yi’s recent reappointment as China’s Foreign Minister, a position he occupied from 2018 to 2022. This reappointment followed the unexpected dismissal of his predecessor, Qin Gang, on 25th July, the reasons for which remain undisclosed to the public.

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.

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