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Chinese Vice-Premier on 3-day visit to S’pore, will co-chair top bilateral council meeting with DPM Teo

SINGAPORE — Chinese Vice-Premier Han Zheng will kick off a three-day official visit to Singapore on Wednesday (Sept 19), during which he will co-chair a meeting of the top body steering bilateral ties with Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean.

Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng will kick off a three-day official visit to Singapore on Wednesday (Sept 19).

Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng will kick off a three-day official visit to Singapore on Wednesday (Sept 19).

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SINGAPORE — Chinese Vice-Premier Han Zheng will kick off a three-day official visit to Singapore on Wednesday (Sept 19), during which he will co-chair a meeting of the top body steering bilateral ties with Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean.

The Republic's Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said in a statement on Tuesday that both will co-chair the 14th Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) meeting.

"The JCBC (which will be held on Thursday) is an overarching annual high-level platform to discuss the progress in our bilateral co-operation with China and set the direction for future co-operation between our two countries," said the statement.

Mr Han was appointed co-chair of the JCBC in April. Among China's four vice premiers, he is the only one who is a member of the Politburo Standing Committee, the country's most elite political body.

Born in Shanghai, Mr Han was most recently the party secretary of the Chinese financial hub, before he was elevated to the Standing Committee.

Discussions about how both sides can work together to implement the China-led Belt and Road Initiative are expected to feature on the JCBC agenda, among other things.

The Joint Steering Council (JSC) meetings for three flagship Government-to-Government projects — the Suzhou Industrial Park, Tianjin Eco-city and Chongqing Connectivity Initiative (CCI) — will also be convened on Thursday.

"The JSCs will review the progress made on the three flagship Government-to-Government projects and discuss future developments," said the PMO's statement.

Both leaders will also witness the signing of several bilateral Memorandums of Understanding after the JCBC and JSC meetings.

The CCI, launched in 2015, aims to enhance connectivity from western China to South-east Asia, and beyond. The Suzhou Industrial Park was started in the early 1990s, while the Tianjin Eco-city project marks its 10th anniversary this year.

Mr Teo will meet Mr Han and host a welcome dinner for him and his delegation on Wednesday.

On Thursday, Mr Teo and Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam will host separate meals for the visiting Chinese leader.

In addition, Mr Han will pay courtesy calls on President Halimah Yacob and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Friday.

While in Singapore, Mr Han will also visit Pasir Panjang Terminal to discuss port development and the Urban Redevelopment Authority to discuss urban planning strategies, said the PMO's statement.

Singapore is China's top source of foreign investments, while the latter is the Republic's biggest trading partner.

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