SINGAPORE, Nov. 11 (Xinhua) -- Visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao met here Wednesday evening with Singaporean President S. R. Nathan, with both exchanging views on further developing bilateral ties between the two countries.
President Hu said that as the two countries are to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations next year, China is ready to provide Singapore with a pair of pandas for joint research in a bid to further enhance the friendly feelings between the people of the two countries.
President Nathan said that China's decision to offer a pair of pandas to Singapore is an important symbol of friendship between the two peoples.
During the meeting with Nathan, Hu said the bilateral relations have witnessed rapid growth since the two countries established diplomatic ties 19 years ago.
The two sides have maintained frequent exchange of high-level visits and achieved fruitful cooperation in various fields, said the Chinese leader.
Expressing satisfaction with the good momentum in the development of bilateral relations, Hu said China attaches great importance to its relations with Singapore and is ready to deepen mutually beneficial cooperation, so as to make greater contribution to peace, stability and prosperity of Asia.
Hu emphasized that human resource is a key area of bilateral cooperation, to which both sides have always paid great attention.
Strengthening exchanges between the young people of both countries is conducive to the long-term and stable growth of bilateral links, he said.
Hu also briefed Nathan about the measures that China has taken to offset the impact of the international financial crisis and to maintain a stable and relatively rapid growth of the economy, as well as the effects of these measures.
Nathan warmly welcomed Hu's state visit to Singapore, saying the visit is of milestone significance in the development of the bilateral relations.
Under the current circumstances of rampant trade protectionism, China's success in addressing the challenge of the global financial crisis and maintaining a rapid economic growth deserves admiration and congratulation from Singapore, he said.
Nathan said that as the People's Republic of China celebrated this year the 60th anniversary of its founding, the great changes in China have brought about opportunities for the whole region and benefited every country in the region.
He said Singapore and China enjoy a close relationship as bilateral cooperation in various fields grow smoothly. Singapore hopes to further strengthen exchanges and cooperation with China in various areas such as economy and trade, tourism and education and to expand cooperation at local levels, he added.
Nathan said Singapore is also ready to expand cooperation with China in the area of human resource development.
Noting that Asia is frequently striken by natural disasters, Nathan said China has accumulated valuable experience in disaster relief during the severe earthquakes in Sichuan last year and in post-disaster rehabilitation for other countries to learn from.
Before the meeting, Nathan held a welcome ceremony for Hu.
President Hu arrived here Wednesday afternoon for a state visit to Singapore. This is the final leg of his two-nation Southeast Asia trip, which has already taken him to Malaysia.
During his stay in Singapore, President Hu will also attend the Economic Leaders Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) slated for Nov. 14-15.