Pragmatism and poetry: What PM Lee brought to Singapore’s four most important bilateral relationships

Pragmatism and poetry: What PM Lee brought to Singapore’s four most important bilateral relationships

Mr. Lee made an illegal visit to Taiwan about a fortnight before becoming prime minister, which caused the first blip in July 2004. China’s overseas department spokeswoman expressed its” strong frustration” and rally, saying the visit had “hurt the thoughts of 1.3 billion Chinese people”.

Singapore supports a” One China” approach and opposes punitive revisions to the status quo. In 1990, Singapore established diplomatic relations with China on the assumption that its 1975-added military training program may remain.

A minute “downturn” in the marriage occurred in 2016 according to “differences over Singapore’s place on the South China Sea dispute”, and China perceiving that Singapore was” very close to the US”, noted Mr Lye Liang Fook, senior fellow at the ISEAS- Yusof Ishak Institute.

China claims most of the South China Sea and has overlapping claims with four Association of Southeast Asian Nations ( ASEAN ) members – the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam. China’s claim to historic rights within its “nine-dash line” was rejected by the Philippines in accordance with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea ( UNCLOS). China rejected the tribunal’s jurisdiction and award.

According to Mr. Lee, who was the country coordinator for the Asean-China Dialogue Relations at the time at the 2016 National Day Rally,” this puts us in a slightly warm seat because each party wants us to side a little bit more with them.”

Singapore does not have any claims to the South China Sea, but “in other ways, we do have a lot at stake,” he said.” We do have a lot at stake, and three things are important to us: international law, freedom of navigation, and a united ASEAN,” he said.

Nine Terrex infantry carriers from Singapore Armed Forces were detained in Hong Kong for about two months after completing a routine training exercise in Taiwan.

S Rajaratnam School of International Studies senior fellow Alan Chong believes the episode was “opportune” and might serve as a signal to Ms. Tsai Ing-wen, who was subsequently elected president of Taiwan and who was perceived as more independent, as well as to Singapore.

The episode, while “unhappy”, is “important because it enables Singapore to tell China that,’ at times, there will be differences and we will stand firm in terms of our principles. Hope China can comprehend where Singapore is coming from, expressed Mr. Lye. &nbsp,

He said,” I believe this is crucial to fostering a more mature and realistic relationship with China.”

” No two countries have got identical interests. But both sides value the relationship so no hiccup has proven to be insurmountable”, said Mr Chin.

The two nations have launched three government-to-government initiatives, including the Chongqing Connectivity Initiative in 2015 and the Suzhou Industrial Park in 1994. According to Mr. Lye, Singapore continues to identify areas where China is interested and integrates them with its own growth and development priorities.