Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen and Chinese State Councilor and Minister of National Defense General (GEN) Wei Fenghe signed the enhanced Agreement on Defence Exchanges and Security Cooperation (ADESC) today. Dr Ng is in China from 17 to 22 October 2019 where he attended the Opening Ceremony of the 7th International Military Sports Council (CISM) Military World Games in Wuhan, and will be speaking at the 9th Beijing Xiangshan Forum.
The ADESC, first signed in 2008, formalises activities between the Ministry of Defence and the Singapore Armed Forces, and the People's Liberation Army (PLA), including port calls, bilateral exercises, mutual visits, and cross-attendance of courses. Under the enhanced ADESC, bilateral defence cooperation between Singapore and China will be stepped up significantly to include the establishment of a regular Singapore-China Defence Ministers' Dialogue, a Visiting Forces Agreement for troops participating in bilateral exercises, a mutual logistics support arrangement and a bilateral hotline. Both countries will also conduct more regular academic exchanges among military academies and think-tanks. On enhancing cooperation on multilateral platforms, both sides are also committed to maintaining high-level attendance at multilateral conferences and dialogues such as the Shangri-La Dialogue and the Beijing Xiangshan Forum.
Dr Ng also had a bilateral call with GEN Wei earlier this morning. Both sides discussed substantive proposals to expand bilateral defence cooperation, including institutionising and the scaling up of the flagship army and navy exercises Exercise Cooperation and Exercise Maritime Cooperation and a new Memorandum of Understanding on Academic Exchanges between SAFTI-MI and the PLA Academy of Military Sciences. They also look forward to the conduct of Exercise Cooperation and Exercise Maritime Cooperation, as well as joint performances by Singapore's Music and Drama Company and the PLA Performing Arts Troupe to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Singapore-China diplomatic relations next year. Dr Ng and GEN Wei also discussed ways to strengthen ASEAN-China defence cooperation.
Dr Ng's visit to China reflects the growing defence and bilateral ties between both countries. Dr Ng will attend the 9th Beijing Xiangshan Forum tomorrow, and speak at the plenary session titled "Interests of Small and Medium-Sized Countries and Common Security" on 22 Oct. Dr Ng will also call on Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission GEN Xu Qiliang tomorrow.