Should Singapore Take A More Proactive Position?

by Patrick Liew on August 20, 2019

Should Singapore Take A More Proactive Position?

Singapore stood with and supported China through many challenges.

For example, after the tragic Tiananmen incident in 1989, many countries, especially those from the West condemned China and imposed economic sanctions against It.

Singapore did not join them but instead, it continued to invest in China.

When negotiations between China and the US on China’s accession to the World Trade Organisation reached an impasse, Mr Lee Kuan Yew acted as an interlocutor and helped to break the deadlock.

Singapore was also instrumental in facilitating China’s link-up with ASEAN through ASEAN +3.

It is the only country that has set up the Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) with China.

When China initiated the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) which strategically excludes the US, Singapore broke ranks with the US and was actively lobbying countries to join and support the AIIB.

Singapore is one of the largest and few offshore clearing centres for RMB.

Singapore was also one of the early supporters of China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) Initiative.

The Chinese and Singapore banks are actively financing “Belt and Road” projects, especially in the South-east Asia region.

Singapore is one of China’s largest investors and trading partners.

It is a nett contributor to China since Deng Xiaoping opened up the economy.

In my wildest imagination, I hope Singapore can act as a mediator for U.S. and China as they potentially embark on a lose-lose-lose trade war.

After all, Singapore is a small country and poses no threat to any country.

We have consistently been an objective, neutral, and principled partner that promotes a rules-based globalized economy so as to achieve greater good for the world at large.


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

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