Monday, 5 December 2016

China's rise cannot be contained: Singapore defence minister

Posted 04 Dec 2016 17:12

Updated 04 Dec 2016 17:20

SINGAPORE: The US presence in the Asia-Pacific should not be for the sole purpose of containing China, either perceived or otherwise, Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said during a panel discussion at the Reagan National Defense Forum on Sunday (Dec 4).

"It is neither possible nor strategically necessary to contain China’s rise ... China is now an integral leader of global systems of trade, finance and security. It is clear that China needs the world as much as the world needs China, and I think this interdependence will grow, not diminish,” he said at the forum in Simi Valley, California, attended by US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, foreign defence ministers and members of the US Congress. 

He added that the rise of China, India and ASEAN are a "virtuous outcome" of the US foreign and defence policies over the last seven decades. "That very fact alone validates the US foreign and defence policies in Asia over the last few decades. But I think this success brings a suite of new challenges as we contemplate US foreign policy moving forward," Dr Ng said.

Asked about potential collaboration between the incoming Donald Trump administration and Taiwan, in the wake of a phone call between the US president-elect and Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, Dr Ng said it was not Singapore's place to second-guess on the reason for the call. 

"The president-elect’s administration team followed up after the phone call to say that they adhere to the one-China policy, as does Singapore and we are very careful and in fact, constructive," Dr Ng said, pointing to instances where Singapore helped advance the one-China policy, such as hosting the Wang-Koo talks in 1993, the 1992 One Consensus meeting and the meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and then Taiwanese leader Ma Ying-jeou.

Said the defence minister: "I think there are a lot of benefits of a strong China; being able to provide opportunities for both US and other countries in the world, and I think that there are many areas that you can focus on that are productive." 

Dr Ng said that he does not believe, even with any new administration, that the US would reduce its presence in the Asia-Pacific region.

"The US’ presence in the Asia-Pacific region based predominantly on security is unidimensional and structurally brittle… The US needs a multifaceted relationship with countries in Asia," he said. "Singapore looks forward to working with the new administration to continue to allow the US to be a stabilising force in the Asia-Pacific region.”

- CNA/am

Original post

Must be really desperate and running out of options of how to get the IFV back.  Really glad China did this to Singapore as have been acting like a little super power for too long without any reprisal.  This incident would teach them a lesson.

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