Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong receives an interview with Xinhuanet, Xinhua’s official website, in Singapore, Sept. 16, 2017. (Xinhuanet/Wang Yingyao)
SINGAPORE, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) — Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has said that the Belt and Road Initiative of China is positive to the world since it can help further integrate China into regional and international economic systems while boosting growth in other countries.
“We deem the Belt and Road Initiative as positive,” Lee said Saturday in an interview with Xinhuanet, Xinhua’s official website, noting that China’s continuous economic growth has made China an increasingly larger and more important part in the international system.
“The Initiative will help foster closer cooperation among China and its neighboring countries as well as its trade partners in Europe, Asia and even Africa,” he added.
The Belt and Road Initiative, put forward by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, is aimed at building the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road through concerted efforts of all related countries to benefit all participants by promoting unimpeded trade, financial integration, infrastructure inter-connectivity and closer people-to-people exchanges.
In the interview, Lee said the Initiative-related cooperation in sectors such as infrastructure investments, trade and tourism can help further “integrate China into regional and international economic systems while greatly boosting the prosperity and development in other countries.”
In his opinion, the Initiative can help China make more and better contributions to global economic and trade cooperation as well as the international relations.
“I think this is not only good for China, but will also be a positive influence to the whole international system,” he said.
Singapore’s cooperation with China concerning the Belt and Road Initiative, Lee said, is focused on infrastructure inter-connectivity, financial projects and third-country programs such as personnel training, which Singapore believes can combine advantages of both sides.
For example, Singapore can become a launchpad for Chinese companies to march into international markets, and they can make the best of Singapore’s trade and service facilities as a financial center and transport hub.
The Singaporean leader will pay an official visit to China on Sept. 19-21 at the invitation of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. The two sides are expected to exchange views on bilateral ties and issues of common concern, the Chinese Foreign Ministry announced Friday.