Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (R) meets with Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in Vientiane, Laos, Sept. 6, 2016. (Xinhua/Rao Aimin)
VIENTIANE, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said here Tuesday that China hopes Singapore can play a constructive role in helping promote China's relations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Li made the remarks while meeting his Singaporean counterpart, Lee Hsien Loong, on the sidelines of the East Asia leaders' meetings in the Laotian capital of Vientiane.
China considers Singapore a key partner for cooperation in the region, while close communications between the two nations' leaders can help keep the development of China-Singapore ties on the right track, boost pragmatic cooperation, and deepen the friendship of the two peoples, said Li.
The Chinese premier also said Beijing always regards ASEAN as a priority for regional diplomacy, noting that this year marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of China-ASEAN relations.
He added that China would like to join ASEAN in further expanding common interests, and contributing to regional peace and stability.
For his part, Lee said his country is willing to strengthen cooperation and exchanges with China, and ensure a smooth implementation of major projects.
Over the years, relations between China and ASEAN have been characterized by mutual benefits and shared profits, he said, adding that their common interests greatly outweigh their differences.
He also said Singapore, as a coordinator of China-ASEAN ties, would like to play an active part in promoting understanding and expanding common interests among various parties.
Earlier in the day, the Chinese premier arrived in Vientiane to attend the 19th China-ASEAN (10+1) leaders' meeting, the 19th meeting of the leaders of ASEAN-China, Japan and South Korea (10+3), and the 11th East Asia Summit. During his stay, Li will also pay an official visit to Laos.