Even Singapore, the US’ staunchest ally, has to support OBOR

Shoppers at the Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
Singapore kept its position as the world's second-most competitive economy this year despite concerns over rising business costs, tighter labour policies and slowing growth. This is the fifth year running that Singapore has come in second behind Switzerland, which stayed in pole position in the annual Global Competitiveness Report, compiled by the World Economic Forum (WEF). The ranking of 140 economies is seen as the most comprehensive assessment of its kind. The WEF said Singapore was one of the most consistent performers across economies, faring well in the 12 factors assessed in the study such as infrastructure, health and education, and technological readiness. - Straits Times
 Even Singapore, the US’ staunchest ally, has to support OBOR

KUALA LUMPUR (September 2017): The kiasu kiasi (fear of losing and fear of dying) Singapore led by premier Lee Hsien Loong is this week seen consolidating bilateral relations with China.

The island republic, the US’ staunchest ally in Southeast Asia (SEA) and Asia, cannot afford to take matters for granted in regional trade and economics with China.

The pressure, arguably, is building up with Malaysia’s aggressive “Look China policy” featuring multi-billion-dollars worth of projects inked in dozens of Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) and Joint Ventures (JVs).

A quick count listed at least 26 mega projects inked between China and Malaysia in the past year or two. They are:

> Malacca Gateway

> Johor Iskandar Development

> Forest City

> Carey Island

> East Coast Rail Link (ECRL)

> Bandar Malaysia

> High Speed Rail in peninsula Malaysia

> Impression Malacca

> Edra Energy

> Sutera Harbour in Kota Kinabalu

> Birds Nest

> Durians

> Tourism

> Aquaculture

> Palm Oil

> Naval patrol boats (50 vessels grade)

> Felda FGV

> Alibaba DFTZ regional hub

> Proton

> Shell

> Kedah Integrated Fisheries Terminal

> Kuantan Malaysia-China Industrial Park

> Kedah Rubber City

> Royal Mulu Sarawak

> Lumut Maritime Terminal Perak

> Alor Gajah Power Plant

With so many Malaysia-China interests at stake, Singapore obviously cannot afford to take its bilateral relations with China for granted.

And, of course Singaporeans and Singapore cannot ignore the mutual cultural and business opportunities offered in China's One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative.

Suria KLCC shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur
Here’s a news report on Chinese President Xi Jinping’s meeting with Singapore premier Lee Hsien Loong in Beijing on Sept 20, 2017:


Xi meets Singaporean PM on advancing ties

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-20 23:09:45|Editor: Mu Xuequan

Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) meets with Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in Beijing, capital of China, Sept. 20, 2017. (Xinhua/Xie Huanchi)

BEIJING, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping said Wednesday that China and Singapore should deepen political trust and consolidate ties.

Xi made the remarks when meeting with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in Beijing.

The president said maintaining high-level contact was a fine tradition established by the older generation of leaders, which showed the close relationship between the two countries.

He said he believed that Lee's visit would deepen traditional friendship and promote greater development for cooperation.

Deepening political trust and relations not only conforms to the interests of the two countries and their people, but also contributes to regional and world peace, stability and prosperity, he said.

Xi said that the two sides should adhere to mutual understanding and respect and show support for each other's core interests and major concerns.

China and Singapore hold similar positions and share broad common interests in economic globalization, free trade and investment, he said.

He said he hoped that the two sides could synergize their development strategies and give full play to the role of the Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation.

Xi said the two countries should continue people-to-people exchanges to carry forward their traditional friendship.

Noting that the Belt and Road Initiative was the priority of bilateral cooperation, Xi said he hoped that the two sides could center on infrastructure connectivity projects and promote the participation of regional countries in the creation of a new trade route.

Lee said he fully agreed with Xi's position on bilateral ties.

He said Singapore had stuck to the one-China policy, opposed "Taiwan independence" and hoped for a stable and prosperous China.

Singapore hopes for closer cooperation with China in the fields of infrastructure, interconnectivity and human resources, Lee said.

He agreed to align Singapore's development strategy with China to bring more benefit to the two peoples.

Singapore supports the Belt and Road Initiative and the establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, he said. Singapore is ready to promote regional and world development and help to expedite China-ASEAN cooperation, he added.

The two sides also exchanged views on international and regional issues of common concern.

China's top legislator Zhang Dejiang and Wang Qishan, head of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, also met with Lee on Wednesday.

Zhang, chairman of the National People's Congress Standing Committee, said the NPC expected to cement exchanges with Singapore's legislative body to offer a sound legal and institutional environment for cooperation.

Wang briefed Lee about the CPC's efforts in strict Party governance, as well as China's anti-corruption campaign.

Lee is paying an official visit to China from Tuesday to Thursday.