Saturday, March 2, 2024 | 13:32 WIB

Singapore will not take sides


Jakarta, IO – Ether or not the global pattern has nearly divided into two camps, Singapore won’t pick sides between China and the United States as the two superpowers in the near future. Instead, it will work to maintain a delicate balance and engage with each power while advancing its own national interests. Additionally, aggressively expressing its opinions, backing the idea of national sovereignty in foreign affairs, and oppose large nations’ intimidation of smaller ones. 

The main objective of Singapore’s foreign policy is to ensure its survival as a small state. While the Cold War era tensions and conflicts between Singapore and its two large neighbors, Malaysia and Indonesia, have subsided, they nevertheless sometimes surface. An Indonesian religious fanatic who advocated for a 9/11-style terrorist strike on Singapore in May 2022 said that Singapore was a Malay territory. Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad asserted in June that Singapore and Pedra Branca, traditionally Johor territory, should be reclaimed by Malaysia and Johor as their own. These kinds of things make Singaporeans constantly anxious about their existence. 

Singapore must seek the security assurances of major nations in order to survive, while also preserving economic success and securing regional economic benefits. In order to achieve the first objective, Singapore adheres to American security policy, works to maintain American dominance in Asia, and makes Changi Naval Port accessible to the U.S. Navy. Singapore likewise wants to keep its business connections with China strong in order to thrive economically. 

The Chinese market will represent 27% of Temasek Holdings’ investment portfolio in 2021, making it the group’s largest single market for two consecutive years. Singapore has replaced the United States as the top destination for Chinese businesses looking to invest abroad due to the conflict between China and the United States. 


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