BEIJING - Talks on a
free-trade area (FTA) between China and Singapore could
suffer "setbacks" because Beijing is angry over the
visit by Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister Lee Hsien
Loong to Taiwan, media reports said on Tuesday.
An official from China's Ministry of Commerce
said Sino-Singaporean trade ties had been hampered by
Lee's recent visit to Taipei, which was opposed by
"His visit has dampened the mood to
negotiate the free-trade area between the two
countries," the People's Daily website said, quoting an
In addition, China last
month cancelled a visit by the governor of the
People's Bank of China, Zhou Xiaochuan, to Singapore,
apparently to protest against Lee's trip to Taiwan.
Reports have speculated that the FTA talks will
be delayed or canceled because of Lee's visit, which
took place from July 10-13.
canceling the talks will not cause problems because
neither a feasibility study nor negotiations have
started," the official said.
Singapore's second-largest trading partner, with two-way
trade totaling nearly US$40 billion last year.
Aug 4, 2004
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