More than Zero

The relationship between the United States and China is not a “zero-sum game” from Singapore’s perspective, said Singaporean Foreign Minister K Shanmugam on Wednesday. “The world and Asia are big enough to accommodate a rising China and a reinvigorated US,” Shanmugam told attendees of the Singapore symposium sponsored by the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. He encouraged the United States to pursue economic and trade engagement in Southeast Asia, not just military and security ties, as a means of stability. And, he cautioned against the United States trying to engage in a policy of containing China since “most countries in the region” would not support this. Shanmugam noted that the United States and Singapore have been close strategic allies for decades. Further, “the US has long played a major role in the region’s stability and prosperity,” he said. Singapore has consistently encouraged the United States to engage the region “long before it was fashionable,” he noted. (Shanmugam speech text) (CSIS webpage of event)