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China, Singapore unite to build a dream city
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Premier Wen Jiabao and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong agreed yesterday to jointly develop an environmentally friendly city in northeastern China.

The city will be a model for sustainable development, a Singapore government statement said. The "Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city" will be developed by a joint venture formed by Chinese and Singapore companies.

"This eco-city, to be built in Tianjin, will become another highlight in our relations," Wen said after signing an agreement with Lee, who concurred: "On the Singapore side, on all levels, we'll give this project our full support."

The two sides will share expertise and experiences in urban planning, environmental protection, resources conservation, recycling, use of renewable resources and wastewater re-use, the statement said.

China's economic planning agency issued a set of guidelines earlier this month welcoming foreign investment in environmentally friendly areas such as recycling, "clean" industries and environmental protection.

Bilateral relations between China and Singapore have seen big progress even though the two countries established diplomatic ties only 17 years ago, Wen said during his talks with Lee.

China and Singapore have also kept close contact and coordination on regional issues, he added. Wen said China and Singapore are both important Asian countries that share common interests in many areas.

The two leaders also exchanged views on regional and international issues of mutual interest, including the situation in Myanmar.

National reconciliation should be restored and peace, stability and development should be ensured in Myanmar through the mediation of the United Nations and through its own efforts as well, Wen told a press briefing after the talks.

Wen arrived in Singapore yesterday for an official visit to the country. It is the first visit by a Chinese premier to Singapore in eight years.

Today Wen will attend the 11th ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Plus Three (China, Japan and the Republic of Korea) Summit, the 11th China-ASEAN Summit, the third East Asia Summit, and the eighth annual meeting of the leaders of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea.

In the arrival statement, Wen said he is looking forward to attending the meetings and "exchanging views with the leaders of other countries on ways to deepen East Asian cooperation so as to contribute to the building of a peaceful, harmonious and prosperous Asia."

Wen is also expected to meet Japanese counterpart Fukuda Yasuo on the sidelines of the series of meetings.

(Shanghai Daily November 19, 2007)

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