Can Singapore find a happy middle ground between China and the US?

January 16, 2022

I dont for one moment believe the question can possibly be paraphrased in terms of whether or ‘can it be done?’ Because those sort of question assume there’s necessarily such a thing as a choice or that failure to some how carve out a middle ground is optional…..the way I see it the leadership in Singapore have been incomprehensibly slow to register the seriousness of the rift between the US and China. And that may well supply an explanation why many still feel its right and even sensible to ask – can Singapore find a happy middle ground between China and the US. But to me. There’s something terribly misleading about such questions because it assumes either the US or China will not compel sovereign States to choose between the two. And if this is the case where might the Middle ground be? I think increasingly we are beginning to see this scenario as a reality and not a theory any longer. The question for me is not whether Singapore can find a happy middle ground between China and the US. Rather it is simply this one question – why didn’t the custodians of power scale the rift between the US and China accurately in a timely manner which would have allowed them to make the necessary adjustments to their foreign policy? In my assessment they should have seen this development at least as far back as April 2015. We can of course say the ASDF saw it coming over the brow of the hill as far back as 2013 when the idea of the TPP was mooted and you can even preview many articles here and elsewhere that clearly highlighted the growing rift between China and US…but this still doesn’t answer the question – why did the custodians of power fail to register this development.

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