Singapore, China ink pact to set up bilateral defence hotline

  • The defence establishments of Singapore and China inked an agreement on Thursday to set up a hotline meant to strengthen high-level communication between defence leaders from both sides.
  • The signing took place after a meeting between Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen and his Chinese counterpart Li Shangfu, who is in Singapore for his first Shangri-La Dialogue security forum after being appointed in Mar 23.
  • The hotline is known as a “secure defence telephone link” in official documents, and the signing of an agreement to put it into effect was witnessed by the two leaders after they co-chaired the 2nd Singapore-China Defence Ministers’ Dialogue at the Ministry of Defence (Mindef).
  • The meeting was the first official one between the two ministers.
  • As part of his introductory visit to Singapore, General Li inspected a guard of honour at the Mindef headquarters in Bukit Gombak.
  • On Thursday, Dr Ng and Gen Li reaffirmed their commitment towards strengthening defence cooperation as agreed upon under the enhanced Agreement on Defence Exchanges and Security Cooperation, said Mindef in a statement after the meeting that lasted for more than two hours.
  • They also discussed global and regional security issues, and practical ways to strengthen Asean-China defence cooperation under the Asean Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus, a grouping that involves China as one of eight dialogue partners of Asean.

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