Singapore aims to be a friend to all: Minister Balakrishnan

Singapore aims to be a friend to all and does not wish to be forced to choose sides, or to be caught in proxy battles, Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said yesterday.

The country must preserve its ability to make independent decisions based on its national interests and not become a vassal state, he told the House during the debate on his ministry's budget.

MPs sought updates on Singapore's ties with major powers and others, and its plans to strengthen Asean as the group's chair this year.

Dr Balakrishnan said Singapore enjoys good relations with both China and the US and hopes for a stable relationship between the two powers. Singapore has deep cooperation with China that is multi-faceted and evolving, and a major area is the Belt and Road Initiative to spur trade, investment and infrastructure across Asia and Europe.

Singapore also has longstanding ties with the US. President Donald Trump has also accepted Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's invitation to visit Singapore later this year, he noted.

Above all, foreign policy needs domestic support to succeed, he said.- THE STRAITS TIMES

Singapore Politics