25th March 2023 – (Singapore) Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong recently spoke about China’s evolving role on the global stage, noting that the world needs to recognise the country’s current position and that cooperation is essential to avoid conflict. In an interview with broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV), Mr. Lee spoke about China’s growth and the need for the country to reconsider the arrangements that worked when it was a smaller economy.
He urged China to work on a transformation without generating tensions and difficulties that can create new problems that will be hard to resolve. Mr. Lee expressed hope for stabilising U.S.-China relations, saying that the two superpowers must gradually build trust and move forward. The Prime Minister also talked about Singapore’s close ties with China, highlighting the trust and mutual understanding between the two nations. He cited successful projects such as Suzhou Industrial Park, Tianjin Eco-City, and the Chongqing Connectivity Initiative as examples of the cooperation between the two countries.
Mr. Lee noted that the Belt and Road Initiative provided a framework for China to contribute to the development of the region and integrate into a regional network of cooperation and interdependence. Singapore could play a vital role in evaluating and financing Belt and Road projects, and as a centre for arbitration and mediation, it could also provide legal expertise to countries in the region. Finally, Mr. Lee talked about the ASEAN-China economic cooperation, which depends on the overall relationship between China and ASEAN, including political and security issues that need to be addressed.