Last week at the Munich Security Conference, Singapore Minister of Defense Huang Yonghong stated that while the U.S. is welcoming its new administration, the United States and China should expound on their overall objectives regarding Asia’s foreign policy, and thereby give shape to the new world order.
Huang described three kinds of situations at the conference: If U.S. foreign policy basically takes “anti-China” as its main priority, then he fears that many Southeast Asian and Asian countries in the future “will feel disheartened”; if all of the effort that China makes is seen as a path to replacing the United States as the strong country of the Asia Pacific region, then every country is going to have to choose sides, leading to a situation in which they will either be winners or losers; if Chinese and American foreign policy takes trade as its foundation, then it would create an extremely secure cycle of trade.
Huang also said that America is a country with a strong military, which has the capability to continue its presence and influence in the Asia Pacific region, but that its strength alone is not enough to guarantee the continued stability and progress of Asia. He also called into question the new American administration’s policy of “America First,” which could damage its influence in Asia Pacific region.
When Huang and Bo Ying, Head of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the National People’s Congress of China, met with one another, they both once again affirmed that China and Singapore are on friendly terms. Huang also reiterated that Singapore believes that a stable, prosperous, and successful China will be advantageous to Singapore as well as to the East and Southeast Asian region in general. He also stated that Singapore will continue to support China’s success.