4 December 2015 (Friday) marked a special day at Peking University. We welcomed our first Ambassador to the inaugural Peking University Yenching Academy Ambassador Speaker Series: the Honorable Stanley Loh, Ambassador of the Republic of Singapore to the People's Republic of China. The Ambassador was accompanied by First Secretary Samantha Toh, who represented the Embassy of the Republic of Singapore in Beijing at the inaugural Yenching Academy Opening Ceremony on 12 September 2015, with Singapore students Li Ki Ng and Zi Kun Lim present.
Peking University Vice President Wang Jie met with the Honorable Ambassador at Lin Hu Xuan, and expressed his appreciation for the continued mutual support and collaboration between Peking University and top educational institutions in Singapore. Ambassador Loh said that the Ng Teng Fong Charitable Foundation had donated RMB150 million (SGD33 million) to fund programmes between three Singapore institutionsand three higher education institutions in China, namely: Peking University-Nanyang Technology University, Tsinghua University-National University of Singapore, and Zhejiang University-Singapore University of Technology and Design. Each pair of universities would receive RMB50 million (SGD11 million) for programmes ranging from student exchanges to research.
As the first guest speaker for the Ambassador Speaker Series, Ambassador Loh shared with students the history of Sino-Singapore relations since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1990. The friendship between a small country with 5.5 million people and that of a large country with 1.3 billion has much larger implications than just the bilateral relationship alone. In the past 25 years, China worked with Singapore on industrializing its economy and attracting foreign investments. Both countries cooperated on the world's first Government-to-Government project, the China-Singapore Suzhou Industrial Park, which was then replicated across China. The two countries continued to cooperate on sustainable development in their second Government-to-Government project, the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco City. Cooperation expanded to different areas, including intellectual property rights in the Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City, food safety projects in Jilin; and the third Government-to-Government project focusing on modern services and connectivity in Chongqing. The Bilateral Free Trade Agreement between China and Singapore further allowed Singapore to share its experiences as a free trade entrepot with China, and has facilitated mutual trade and investment, with Singapore being China's largest foreign investor since 2013, and China Singapore's largest trading partner in the same period. Singapore has always staunchly supported China taking part in multilateral institutions, such as WTO and APEC. Singapore has also supported strong China-ASEAN relations and cross-Strait relations, and advocated the development of friendship and cooperation with China.
The success of the inaugural Ambassador Speaker Series has generated excitement among the students, who anticipate the next speaker. On behalf of Peking University, we thank the Honorable Ambassador for his time and support for this education initiative to foster future global leaders.
Written by Mary Zhang