Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong receives an interview with Xinhuanet, Xinhua's official website, in Singapore, Sept. 16, 2017. (Xinhuanet/Wang Yingyao)
SINGAPORE, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) -- Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has said that Singapore hopes to see Chinese offers in the international bidding scheduled for coming months for the Singapore-Malaysia high speed railway project.
"We hope to receive China's proposals," Lee said Saturday in an interview with Xinhuanet, Xinhua's official website, adding that "I think China's bid will be a high quality one."
Lee noted that the joint railway project is "very significant" for Singapore and Malaysia, but perhaps not so difficult for China.
He said China has advanced technology and rich experience in high speed railway construction and operation, boasting a domestic network of tens of thousands kilometers in length.
Meanwhile, the Singaporean prime minister praised China's high speed railway service for providing passengers with convenience and comfort. "Very convenient, smooth and comfortable," Lee recalled his own experiences of taking high speed trains in China.
The 360-km high-speed rail linking Singapore with Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur -- a bilateral initiative of the Singapore and Malaysian governments signed in December 2016 -- is expected to start operating by December 2026, reducing travel time between them to just about 90 minutes from four to five hours now by road.
The railway project is deemed key to boosting people-to-people exchanges as well as economic and trade ties between the two countries. In Malaysia alone, it is expected to create about 111,000 jobs.
Lee will pay an official visit to China on Sept. 19-21 at the invitation of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. The two sides are expected to exchange views on bilateral ties and issues of common concern, the Chinese Foreign Ministry announced Friday. Enditem