Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Singapore Defence Minister Makes Introductory Visit to China

Singapore's Minister for Defence, Dr Ng Eng Hen, began his introductory visit to China in Beijing yesterday morning. Member of the Central Military Commission of the People's Republic of China, State Councillor and Minister of National Defense General (GEN) Liang Guanglie hosted Dr Ng to a welcome ceremony at the People's Republic of China (PRC) Ministry of National Defense. During their bilateral meeting, GEN Liang and Dr Ng reaffirmed the bilateral relations between the two countries. Both parties also expressed satisfaction with the progress of the bilateral and multilateral exchanges between the People's Liberation Army (PLA) and the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) since the signing of the Agreement on Defence Exchanges and Security Cooperation in January 2008.
GEN Liang and Dr Ng also discussed ways to strengthen defence cooperation in the multilateral arena. Both sides expressed commitment to build a robust and inclusive regional security architecture to enhance regional peace and stability, and acknowledged the value of the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting (ADMM)-Plus and forums such as the Shangri-La Dialogue in promoting strategic and constructive dialogue and practical cooperation. Both sides also expressed support for the ADMM-Plus Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief/Military Medicine Exercise that will be held in Brunei next year.
Dr Ng also called on Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission GEN Xu Caihou. During the meeting, both sides reaffirmed the warm and friendly defence relationship between Singapore and China, including bilateral and multilateral exchanges between the PLA and the SAF. Earlier in the day, Dr Ng visited China's 3rd Capital Garrison, which is responsible for the territorial defence of Beijing, and was briefed on its operations. During the visit, Dr Ng also had the opportunity to meet and interact with the PLA troops.
Dr Ng's visit to China underscores the warm and friendly defence relations between Singapore and China. The armed forces of both countries interact regularly through the exchange of visits, courses, seminars and port calls, and have also held two joint counter-terrorism training exercises.

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