Permanent Secretary (Defence) Mr Chan Heng Kee and China Deputy Chief of Joint Staff Lieutenant General (Lt. Gen.) Shao Yuanming co-chaired the Singapore-China Defence Policy Dialogue (DPD) via video conferencing this afternoon.
During the DPD, Mr Chan and Lt. Gen. Shao reaffirmed the warm and friendly defence relations between Singapore and China that have expanded and grown over the years. They acknowledged the significant progress made in the bilateral defence relationship as Singapore and China marked the 30th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations in 2020, which saw the inaugural participation of the People's Liberation Army Air Force Ba Yi aerobatics team at the Singapore Airshow.
Both sides expressed their commitment to strengthen defence cooperation as agreed under the enhanced Agreement on Defence Exchanges and Security Cooperation signed in October 2019 and reaffirmed during the video conference between Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen and China State Councilor and Minister of National Defense General Wei Fenghe in June 2021. This includes the regularisation and scaling up of bilateral exercises and interactions across the Services such as the flagship bilateral army and naval exercises Exercise Cooperation and Exercise Maritime Cooperation, the continuation of high-level exchanges, the establishment of a bilateral hotline and the regular conduct of academic exchanges among military academies and think-tanks. Both defence establishments had also provided support to each other during the COVID-19 pandemic, through the donation of medical supplies and by holding dialogues and exchanging best practices related to addressing COVID-19.
Mr Chan and Lt. Gen. Shao also exchanged views on global and regional security developments. They discussed ways to strengthen cooperation under the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting-Plus framework and broaden ASEAN-China defence cooperation to build mutual understanding and confidence among the defence establishments. This year marks the 30th anniversary of ASEAN-China dialogue relations, and cooperation has been comprehensive and mutually-beneficial.
Inaugurated in 2008, the Singapore-China DPD serves as a forum for both countries to discuss areas of defence cooperation and exchange views on areas of mutual interest. Both defence establishments interact regularly through bilateral and multilateral exercises, high-level visits, professional exchanges, port calls, as well as the cross-attendance of courses and seminars.