Importance of diplomatic relationship singapore

Bilateral relations Switzerland–Singapore

Singapore has also sought warm ties with China, but an important Asian security forum attended. SINGAPORE - Singapore and China mark 25 years of diplomatic relations this year.. Read more at Singapore maintains diplomatic relations with countries although it does not maintain a As part of its role in the United Nations, Singapore held a rotational seat on the UN Security Council from to It participated in UN.

When we have disputes with other countries, that is how we settle them. In reality, big powers do not always act like that. Big powers can insist on their own interests and often do.

importance of diplomatic relationship singapore

They do not submit to adjudication by international tribunals, they may not comply with their rulings Nevertheless, Singapore must support and strive for a rules-based international order.

We have to depend on words and treaties. They mean everything to us.

importance of diplomatic relationship singapore

We cannot afford to have international relations work on the basis that might is right. If rules do not matter, then small countries like Singapore have no chance of survival. Singapore was one of the five founding members of Asean inset up at the height of the Cold War to prevent larger outside powers from dominating the region.

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Asean has fostered peace and stability in the region and created a climate where the ties that bind its various members individually and as a group are stronger than the disagreements they may have from time to time.

And Singapore has reiterated the need for the grouping to be united and in control of events in its region, even as its unity has been tested on occasion. Today, one foreign policy challenge that makes the headlines is territorial disputes in the South China Sea involving four Asean members.

importance of diplomatic relationship singapore

Singapore is not a claimant state, but the significance of the issue and Singapore's position on it prompted PM Lee to address it in his National Day Rally speech. He reiterated Singapore's stance on respect for international law, freedom of navigation and the need for a united Asean. He also said Singapore took no sides on the overlapping territorial claims and was simply sticking to its own principled, consistent stance. Also, the interests of its friends will sometimes conflict, and Singapore will be pressured to choose sides.

Singapore has all along maintained its right to determine its own course of action and advance its people's interests, standing its ground in the face of pressure from friends. InAmerican teenager Michael Fay was caned for vandalism, despite pressure from US officials to drop the punishment.

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Singapore has also had periodic run-ins with Jakarta officials over the issue of transboundary haze emanating from fires in Indonesia. We just stand our ground because we are a small country and need to hold on to certain principles," says senior fellow William Choong of the International Institute for Strategic Studies-Asia.

Other countries will persuade us to side with them, and we have to choose our own place to stand, what is in our interest, calculate it, choose the spot, stand firm.

I tell you this so that you will understand why we have to stand up for Singapore's position.

Singapore-China ties: 7 things to know about 25 years of diplomatic relations

Sometimes, if you read the foreign media, including the PRC media, you will find articles criticising Singapore for not siding more with them Some Singaporeans are concerned because they have PRC friends, business partners, academic colleagues, personal contacts. They may tell you any tension between Singapore and China will affect your business, affect your collaboration.

I understand these concerns. We would like business and collaboration to continue too. If they are disrupted, both sides lose.

But the Government has to take a national point of view, decide what is in Singapore's overall interests. We want good relations with other countries Singapore has a reputation to protect, that we have our own independent, carefully-thought-out stand. We cooperate with other countries but we make our own calculations, and that is what makes us credible, consistent, reliable, valuable to others, to Asean partners, to the powers - America, China, Europe.

It has taken us a long time to build up this reputation and we have to be very careful to maintain it.

Singapore's foreign policy in a changing world

Last month, Chinese state-linked newspaper Global Times accused Singapore of pushing to include an international tribunal's ruling on the South China Sea - that dismissed China's territorial claims there - in the final document of the Non-Aligned Movement summit. The article sparked a war of words with Singapore's Ambassador to China Stanley Loh, who disputed the paper's account and said there was a common, united Asean position to update the document.

Despite the clarification, there was some public backlash against Singapore in China. The incident was seen as a move by some to sway Singapore's position on the subject.

It was also seen as an example of increasingly complex challenges Singapore faces as the global balance of power shifts.

In such a new and evolving global order, can Singapore's longstanding foreign policy - to be friends with all sides and take no sides - continue to be effective? Shortly after the Global Times saga began, some commentators were quick to declare that China had embarked on a more coercive approach towards Singapore.

But outspoken career diplomat Bilahari Kausikan thinks Beijing had begun being more assertive earlier. He sees the Global Times episode as "being played out loudly in public as part of an ongoing attempt to bypass the Government and influence policy by making Singaporeans jittery". Two years later, Mr Deng came to Singapore and Singapore's governance model strengthened his resolve to open up China.

When Mr Deng made his famous "southern tour" to spur futher economic reform inhe said: Its leaders exercise strict management. We should learn from their experience, and we should do a better job than they do. Sending ambassadors A year after ties were formalised, Singapore sent its first ambassador to China.

Mr Cheng Tong Fatt was in China for seven years. Before becoming a diplomat, he was permanent secretary of the Ministry of Culture. The respective trade representatives' offices, set up in September and Octoberwere upgraded to embassies. Joint projects Economic ties between Singapore have always been governed by pragmatism.

Trade between Singapore and China did not stop even at the height of the Cold War. ByMr Lee Kuan Yew and Mr Deng had signed a trade agreement and trade representative offices were set up in to strengthen economic links between the two countries. Some of the goodwill stored by him for over four decades, across five generations of Chinese leaders, is following him to the grave.

In the wake of the Beijing Olympics and global financial crisis ina more muscular China has chosen to flex its strength more frequently and openly. Nations like Singapore now have to grapple with the interests of two giants, unlike the simpler post-Cold War days when Beijing was largely content for Washington to set the agenda. Like it or not, in the new normal, Sino-Singapore relations will need to withstand the stress and pressure of being caught between a superpower and an aspiring one.

China lays claim to almost all of the sea and although Singapore is not a claimant state, its strong push for freedom of navigation in the waters has created much friction with Beijing.

Singapore will continue to pursue good relations with other countries: PM Lee

The recent spat between the Singapore government and Global Times is merely the latest in an ongoing dispute which has shaken bilateral relations.

And the problem is unlikely to go away any time soon. Of course, it will not be totally bleak.