Success in the US-China competition will be determined by ‘the strength of their example, rather than the example of their might’: Chan Chun Sing – Community News
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Success in the US-China competition will be determined by ‘the strength of their example, rather than the example of their might’: Chan Chun Sing

The rest of the world needs to understand that it has “responsibility and agency to shape the outcome we desire” – so that the world remains inclusive, open and interconnected, where countries are rooted in each other’s success.

“For starters, we can avoid a zero-sum mentality. It is a false dichotomy that one side must lose for the other to win. We can send a clear message that we will act on principle and not want to be tempted to take sides,” he continued.

“We act in accordance with our own enlightened long-term interests, which do not always align with the specific interests of the US or China.”

Most countries want to be partners and establish relations with both the US and China, Mr Chan noted.

“Choosing a side, regardless of problems and context, leads to irrelevance. And if one is irrelevant, it will almost certainly have to take sides,” he added.

SINGAPORE’S POSITION

Singapore aims to be a “relevant partner” for the US and China as well as the rest of the world, said Mr Chan, addressing Singapore’s stance on the matter.

“They are our friends and we want them both to do well and be active and constructive players in our region and the world. We want to add value to those relationships. We don’t take sides by default, regardless of the issue and context,” he added.

“Instead, we take positions of principle in our own long-term national interests to uphold the rule of international law in the world order, so that may not equate to law.”

When Singapore takes its stand on this basis, it will be the “trustworthy, steadfast and consistent partner” as others have come to know Singapore.

Singapore supports “inclusive, open, rules-based and connected” global security and economic architectures, the education minister said.

Singapore believes that these principles best support the country’s interests to increase its survival and success, Mr Chan said.

“We will work with like-minded partners to achieve this. For us, that is countries, companies and international organizations, all of which must share in this pursuit of a better world,” the minister added.

“Instead of being stuck in existing and old debates, we need to transcend our differences to fulfill the potential of a global shared agenda.”