People's Republic of China–Singapore relations

People's Republic of China–Singapore relations
People's Republic of China relations – Singapore relations
Map indicating locations of People's Republic of China and Singapore



People's Republic of China – Singapore relations officially started on October 3, 1990. [1] Diplomatic missions were established in the early 1990s based on trade and the warming of ties from other ASEAN countries towards mainland China.



Sino-Singaporean ties began much earlier than the founding of the People's Republic of China in October of 1949. Migrant Chinese labourers escaping poverty and war came to what was known as Nanyang to the Chinese to Singapore which was part of British Malaya. Many ethnic Chinese Singaporeans derived their ancestral roots in southern China from Fujian, Guangdong and Hainan provinces.[2]

During British rule in Singapore and then under British Malaya before independence, Singapore and the former Republic of China had diplomatic relations.[3] When Singapore became independent in 1965 from Malaysia. It continued to recognised the former mainland government Republic of China on Taiwan.[3]

In the 70s, People's Republic of China and Singapore began unofficial relations. This led to the two sides creating their Commercial Representatives' Offices in both countries in 1981. In 1985, commercial air services between mainland China and Singapore commenced.[1]

Diplomatic ties between the two countries officially began in 1990. Singapore was the last country in South East Asia to formally recognised People's Republic of China out of respect to Indonesia, sensitivities in the region and fears from neighbouring countries of communism in those times.[3] Singapore still maintains cooperation with ROC in terms of military training and facilities from an agreement in 1975.[4] This is due to a lack of usable space in built-up Singapore.[4] Hence China has offered Singapore to relocate some of its training facilities from Taiwan to Hainan province.[4][5]

Bilateral ties took a dive when Singapore's deputy premier Lee Hsien Loong travelled to Taiwan for a private visit in 2004.[6] People's Republic of China took offense to the trip as it regards Taiwan as a renegade province awaiting reunification, and no country should have official relations even if it means travelling to the area.[6] Later in 2004, Chinese government put bilateral relations on hold.[7]

Relations between the two countries gradually improved as China and Singapore forged agreements in free trade, education, foreign investment and technology.[1] Examples are Suzhou Industrial Park and Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city with the help of Singapore.

In terms of people to people exchange. Singapore has benefited from prominent Chinese taking up citizenship for reasons such as family, passport convenience and foreign talent. Such prominent Chinese includes Gong Li and Jet Li. Chinese born table tennis players representing Singapore includes Li Jiawei, Zhang Xueling, Yang Zi and Feng Tianwei.

Bilateral relations

The bilateral trade between China and Singapore developed rapidly in recent years and Singapore has maintained the first position among ASEAN countries in their trade with China.[1]

In 1998, volume of trade was US$8.154 billion in 1998.[1] In 1999, the trade value has increased to US$ 8.56 billion.[1] In 2000, the amount increased to US$10.821 billion.[1] In 2009, the total trade volume was SGD 75.1 billion (USD 58.4 Billion).[8]

Singapore is China's 9th largest trading partner.[9] While China is Singapore's 3rd largest trading partner which consisted of 10.1 percent of Singapore's total external trade from the previous year.[10]

China's export to Singapore were textiles, clothing, agriculture produce, petrochemical, metals, electromechanical equipment, feed, shipping, communication equipment and electronic components.[1]

Companies such as Capitaland and Breadtalk have made substantial inroads into China's domestic economy.[11][12][13] Others such as Temasek Holdings, Singapore Airlines have each invested in China Eastern Airlines.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Brief Introduction to Relations between China and Singapore". Xinhua News Agency. 2002-05-17. 
  2. ^ John Wong. "Sino-Singapore Relations: Looking Back and Looking Forward". Singapore China Friendship Association. 
  3. ^ a b c
  4. ^ a b c
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b
  7. ^ BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific,1 (21 February 2005). "Chinese ambassador says ties with Singapore fully restored". ProQuest ANZ Newsstand. 795797051. .
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ Xinhua (July 9, 2010). "Singapore exports benefit from FTA with China". 
  11. ^ Sonia Kolesnikov-Jessop (December 21, 2010). "Bakeries Claim a Growing Niche in China". I.H.T. Special Report: Doing Business in China. 
  12. ^ (Dec. 31, 2010). "CapitaLand China to sell stake in Senning Property". 
  13. ^

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