China, Singapore sign agreement on pandas, other new cooperation projects

16:00, November 12, 2009      

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China and Singapore signed four documents on new cooperative projects in Singapore Thursday morning, including China's sending two pandas to Singapore.

The joint panda study agreement was signed by heads of wildlife preservation authorities of both countries. Chinese President Hu Jintao and Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong witnessed the signing of the agreement.

President Hu said Thursday morning that in order to mark the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Singapore next year, China had decided to provide Singapore with a pair of pandas for joint study.

The agreements signed also include a framework agreement between the foreign ministries of the two countries on exchanges and training of middle- to senior-level officials from 2010 to 2014.

According to a released document obtained from the Singaporean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the new five-year framework agreement was part of the human resources collaboration that remains a key pillar of China-Singapore cooperation. The new agreement includes study visits for both Singaporean and Chinese officials and one post scholarship program.

The governments of the two countries also signed a MOU on establishing a China Culture Center in Singapore. According to the Singaporean Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts, the China Culture Center would be a venue for Chinese arts and cultural exchanges in Singapore. It would offer classes in such areas as Mandarin, calligraphy and wushu (Chinese martial arts), and house a library of books on China. It would also hold exhibitions on Chinese and Singaporean art, film screenings as well as lectures on various aspects of Chinese culture.

There are currently seven China Culture Centers worldwide.

Another document signed Thursday is the MOU by the two governments on cooperation between China's Zhejiang University and the Singapore University of Technology and Design.

The Singaporean prime minister said that Singapore and China should learn from each other and carry out win-win cooperation. Moreover, next year, Singapore would host the Youth Olympics. Singapore could learn from China's experience in hosting the Olympic Games and other grand events, Lee said.

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