Monday, 29 May 2017

Don’t be rattled by tactics to exaggerate news on Singapore-China relations

'Simplistic and flawed' to think aligning with China would sway its decisions
'Simplistic and flawed' to think aligning with China would sway its decisions: Chee Hong Tat
Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers his speech during the welcoming banquet for the Belt and Road Forum at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, May 14, 2017. Foto: Reuters

Critics who suggest that Singapore should align more closely more with China so it would stop investing in competitive projects in neighbouring countries are drawing "a simplistic & flawed conclusion", Senior Minister of State Chee Hong Tat said on Fri (May 26).

Speaking at the commencement ceremony of the Future China Advanced Leaders Programme, Mr Chee pointed out that Beijing is making investments in the region to enhance its connectivity and energy security, & that these decisions are based on China's own national interests.

"Some people read media reports & are concerned about Singapore’s relations with China, & asked if Singapore should align more closely with China. A few have suggested that by doing so, China would not be investing in our neighbouring countries to compete with Singapore," he added.

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Don’t be rattled by tactics to exaggerate news on Singapore-China relations
Senior Minister of State for Communications & Information Chee Hong Tat (Foto: Melissa Zhu)

Singapore cannot take for granted the close relationship built up with China & must constantly work on enhancing its close bilateral cooperation with the country, Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information Chee Hong Tat said on Fri (May 26).

Mr Chee made this point at the Future China Advanced Leaders Programme commencement ceremony, where he addressed concerns over recent media reports about Singapore’s relationship with China.

Some media reports had noted that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was not present at last week’s Belt and Road Forum in Beijing. Instead, Singapore was represented by National Development Minister and Second Finance Minister Lawrence Wong.

related: Critical for Singapore to continue to have a reliable news source: Chee Hong Tat

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Don’t be rattled by negative news reports of S’pore-China ties: Chee Hong Tat

It is in Singapore’s interest that China succeeds, says Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information (MCI), Chee Hong Tat.

“It is in our interest and in the region’s interest that China succeeds,” Mr Chee said. “We believe that a successful China is good for the region, and this has been our longstanding and consistent position.  Although sometimes there may be occasional differences over how our two countries view certain issues, this is only natural even between close friends and neighbours.”

The minister made the remarks in his speech at the Future China Advanced Leaders Programme Commencement Ceremony at Mandarin Orchard Singapore on 26 May.

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China Wants This Malaysian Port to Rival Singapore (And That’s Not All)
A tourist boat travels along the Malacca River

The Straits of Malacca have been a gateway for China for centuries in its quest for power.

A story blended from Malaysian history and folklore says an emperor sent a princess called Hang Li Po to marry the Sultan of Malacca in the Ming Dynasty, offering a ship filled with gold needles. He also sent a blunt message. “For every gold needle, there is a subject. If you can count the number of needles, you will learn the true extent of my power,” the emperor reportedly said in a letter.

Hundreds of years later, China is again seeking influence in Malaysia as it spreads its economic and military clout through Southeast Asia. It is investing billions in a $7.2 billion redevelopment that will see Malacca, long the haunt of Chinese traders, become a new deep sea port.


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