On the occasion of the -tenth anniversary of the founding of the Singa Sino Friendship Association, my colleagues and I at the East Asian Institute (EAI) would like to congratulate you on your remarkable achievements over the past 10 year under the leadership of your president Sia Yong.
As we know, Singapore's bilateral relations with China over the years have grown by leaps and bounds, particularly in the areas of trade, investment and tourism. A truly NGO (no-governmental organization) devoted to enhancing Sino-Singapore understanding, the Singa & Sino Friendship Association has played a positive role in the growing Sino-Singapore relationship.
In some way, EAI shares a similar mission in increasing Sino-Singapore understanding. We, at EAI carry out this role by conducting relevant research and academic studies on China and other East Asian societies, just as the Singa Sino Friendship Association does so by cultivating friendship and organizing exchange with its counterparts in China.
The challenges ahead should not be underestimated. In the next 10 years, China as a rapidly rising power is going to produce a different political and economic impact on Singapore and the region. On its part, Singapore as a small country will find-the task of Sustaining a balanced and robust relationship with an emerging power increasingly more delicate and more complex. I can see even greater need in the future for NGOS like the Singa Sino Friendship Association to bolster Sino-Singapore relations at the informal level.
Let me, on behalf of EAI, wish the Association continuing success in its future endeavours.
11th July 2003