Singapore PM says ‘Considerable risk’ of severe US-China tensions

Singapore PM says 'Considerable risk' of severe US-China tensions
Singapore's Prime Minister addressed the tussle for global dominance between the US and China. Source: Bloomberg
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Daily US Times: The Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong has said that a clash between the United States and China is more likely than it was five years ago.

However, the Prime Minister maintained that the odds of military conflict are “not yet high”.

Mr Lee said if both countries continue to take a hard line because of domestic considerations, they could easily find themselves at an impasse.

Joe Biden’s administration will hold its first high-level talks with Chinese officials in Alaska next week.

The Singaporean PM was reluctant to give advice to Beijing but noted its political direction had sparked tensions with nations big and small.

He told BBC World News’ Talking Business Asia programme: “There is significant uncertainty [and] anxiety over which way China is going and whether this will be good for them. I do not think that is in China’s interest.”

Mr Lee’s views on the China-US relationship are often sought, as the tiny island nation plays an outsized role economically and in terms of political influence in the region.

The United States is a major security partner for Singapore and is also the biggest investor in the country, far out-stripping any other country’s contribution.

Meanwhile, China is Singapore’s largest export market and, like much of other Asian countries, Singapore’s economy has benefited from China’s rise.

The bitter trade war between China and the US over the last two years has threatened this delicate balance.

It started during former US President Donald Trump’s presidency, but there’s been no indication that newly-elected President Joe Biden will take a softer approach with China.

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