In an interview on CCTV-13’s “Leaders Talk”《高端访谈》programme first broadcast on 24 March, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong spoke about trust and mutual understanding in longstanding Singapore-China bilateral relations, and expressed the hope that both countries would take this forward in areas such as the Belt and Road Initiative, China-ASEAN relations, China's rise and US-China relations. The following are edited excerpts of the full transcript of the interview issued by Singapore's Prime Minister’s Office.
Former journalist Goh Choon Kang notes that while Singapore’s stand against the Russian invasion of Ukraine is clear, the conditions that led to the current situation are complicated, beginning with Ukraine's internal politics that weakened it considerably for others to take advantage of.
In the event of hostilities in the Taiwan Strait, Southeast Asian countries will face a difficult dilemma. Their latitude for manoeuvre will be limited, particularly as the Philippines, a key ASEAN member and a US treaty ally, prepares to provide base access to the US in such a contingency.
Caixin sat down for an exclusive interview with Malaysia’s new Minister of International Trade and Industry Tengku Zafrul Aziz on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, in January. He spoke about Malaysia's and ASEAN's relations with China, and his thoughts on regional and global trade.
While it is still unclear if the Anwar Ibrahim administration has a clear China policy in place, the general trajectory is a positive posture towards China. Even so, the relationship can be expanded and strengthened beyond economic numbers to channelling the benefits of cooperation to local SMEs, and broadening cooperation to areas where the prime minister has shown great personal interest, such as inter-civilisational dialogue.
For years after the Cold War, given its military dominance, the US saw itself as instrumental to maintaining an “Asian peace”. With that mindset, the more it perceives China as a threat to its Asian primacy, the more it will be on the defensive. In truth, Asian peace was achieved through various efforts, and Asia-Pacific countries all have a stake in seeing it maintained.
If ASEAN can’t tango with China or the US, who else? Pragmatic as always, ASEAN’s favourite choices for hedging partners remain the EU and Japan but attention appears to have also fallen on India as its third choice this year.
Malaysian academic Goh Chun Sheng gives his impressions of the Chinese in Borneo, scattered in different communities and integrated into the locales where they live. Identity politics still rears its head, but perhaps we can look forward to the day when new narratives of diversity and integration will be told.
In the event of hostilities in the Taiwan Strait, Manila’s defence treaty with the US will give it little room to manoeuvre. Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr’s recent visit to China underscores his intent to have a constructive relationship with China, and it remains to be seen how the Philippines will navigate its relationships with both the China and the US.