President, PM reaffirm S'pore's support for China
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<p style="text-align: left;">President Halimah Yacob and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong have reaffirmed Singapore's support for China's efforts to combat the coronavirus outbreak.</p><p style="text-align: left;">In letters sent to Chinese President Xi Jinping yesterday, both leaders lauded efforts taken by China and offered their condolences for the lives lost to the virus.</p><p style="text-align: left;">In her letter, President Halimah commended the Chinese President's "swift, decisive and comprehensive measures to contain the Covid-19 outbreak and safeguard the health of your people", noting that they were starting to yield encouraging and positive outcomes.</p><p style="text-align: left;">"I am confident that under your able leadership, China will overcome Covid-19 with strength and fortitude," she wrote.</p><p style="text-align: left;">Similarly, PM Lee said: "We have seen how speedily China has mobilised itself to contain the spread, and implemented practical measures to help people affected, both in Wuhan and the rest of China.</p><p style="text-align: left;">"We applaud China's firm and decisive response, and are happy to see early indications that it is beginning to bring the outbreak under control."</p><p style="text-align: left;">Both President Halimah and PM Lee stressed the importance of both countries working together to battle such crises, including producing an effective treatment for the virus.</p><p style="text-align: left;">PM Lee also highlighted Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat's and China's Vice-Premier Han Zheng's agreement to discuss cooperation in the management of public health crises at the Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation.</p><p style="text-align: left;">Singapore is slated to host the next meeting later this year.</p><p style="text-align: left;">"Singapore and China mark the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations this year. Our continued close cooperation in meeting common challenges testifies to our strong and steadfast friendship," said PM Lee.</p><p style="text-align: left;">President Halimah thanked the Chinese government for facilitating Singapore's efforts to repatriate Singaporeans from Hubei.</p><p style="text-align: left;">She also expressed confidence that with Mr Xi's strong support, both countries will "further deepen and broaden (their) multifaceted cooperation", adding that she looks forward to meeting him during her state visit to China this year.</p><p style="text-align: left;">PM Lee noted that Covid-19 may take longer to bring under control than the severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars). "Even as countries take strong measures to contain the disease in the early phases, we should begin exploring how over the longer term we can best manage the health effects of the virus on our people, while progressively restoring economic activities and international trade and travel," he wrote.</p><p><img src="https://imedia-peoplesdaily.pdnews.cn/20200225/ee4f464d4de1412f92905f291b425a9b.jpg" title="" alt="1e42c9591dd043efb58bf6918048e02a.jpg"/></p><p><span style="color: rgb(127, 127, 127);">(Photo: VCG) </span></p>