Singapore's fundamental interests are to have peace in the world, stability and security in the region, a network of friends and allies, and to ultimately preserve its sovereignty, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the annual S. Rajaratnam Lecture organised by the Foreign Affairs Ministry's Diplomatic Academy on Friday (27 Nov).
PM Lee said Singapore has advanced these interests on the global stage through four strategic ways in the past 50 years, and should continue to do so.
The four strategic ways include:
1. Singapore must be an active and constructive international player that adds value. Singapore’s officials and diplomats have played active deal-making roles to forge international consensus on issues such as climate change and maritime law in the past.
2. Singapore must sustain good relations with its neighbours, namely in South-east Asia. It works with its partners to make ASEAN an effective and credible group, and also aims to be an honest and fair broker in disputes such as the one over South China Sea territory.
3. Singapore must continue to succeed as a country if it wants to remain relevant globally. Singapore's prosperity and harmony is why other countries want to do business with it and learn from its expertise. A strong defence force is also a vital layer to protect Singapore when all else fails.
4. Singaporeans must remain united across political, racial and religious divides. Singapore also maintains a crucial distinction between race and nationality, a distinction not always understood by other countries.
Singapore should continue to advance on the global stage through these four strategies, do you agree? Share your thoughts with us!
Source: “PM Lee sets out ways to safeguard Singapore's interests abroad” (The Straits Times, 28 Nov 2015)