See More on Facebook


Davos speakers fear possibility of a China-US economic decoupling

In a speech at the 50th World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Singapore PM Lee said that the US, China and globalisation are three major external factors that have driven the economic prosperity of Singapore, but they are all changing now.

Written by

Updated: January 24, 2020

Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong warned on Wednesday that a possible decoupling of the Chinese and United States economies could have severe consequences.

In a speech at the 50th World Economic Forum in the ski town of Davos, Switzerland, Lee said that the US, China and globalization are three major external factors that have driven the economic prosperity of Singapore, but they are all changing now.

“So we would like to continue to work with America, we would like to continue to work with China,” he said, adding that from time to time, Singapore will find itself being pressed to choose sides.

In his speech at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on May 31,Lee conveyed that Singapore and other countries in the region do not want to be forced to choose between China and the US.

That statement came after the US pressed its security allies and partners to ban Chinese telecom giant Huawei from their 5G networks. Singapore has so far not excluded any vendors from building its 5G network, but said any systems must meet security requirements.

Lee said on Wednesday that the prospect of “bifurcation in technology, whether in 5G or the whole supply chain” would lead to a series of reactions of distrust that would force nations to set up their own separate supply chains.

“It will take a long time for that process to come, to run its course, but it is a very expensive process, which is going to hurt us,” he said.

Lee said he worries that the mutual suspicions and doubt between China and the US will only create more friction and problems, and that the consequences of a decoupling scenario would be very bad.

It is a serious issue, he said, how an incumbent superpower like the United States accommodates a rising new power, China.

“How do both sides make adjustments in order to accommodate each other and head off what Graham Allison calls the Thucydides trap?” he asked.

Kenneth Rogoff, a Harvard University professor of economics, said some of the decoupling will happen, and it’s going to be painful.

“I think it has been a symbiotic relationship. Both sides benefit from each other. It’s a very deep relationship. And I don’t even know how to think about decoupling in the situation,” said Rogoff, a former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund.

Kishore Mahbubani, a distinguished fellow at National University of Singapore’s Asia Research Institute, said the decoupling would be a disaster for the world.

“That is why I think the whole world would like to encourage the US not to proceed with this,” he said.

Enjoyed this story? Share it.

China Daily
About the Author: China Daily covers domestic and world news through nine print editions and digital media worldwide.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia

Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.

By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here


EDITORIAL: Mr Trump in India

US President and Prime Minister Narendra Modi were able to convey a robust message to the west of the Radcliffe Line, thanks largely to their personal chemistry. The diplomatic irony has been rather exceptionally bitter. Donald Trump’s 36-hour visit to India was somewhat pushed out of focus by the communal flare-up that has overwhelmed parts of Delhi, with the death toll rising to 27 till Thursday afternoon. And yet the US President and Prime Minister Narendra Modi were able to convey a robust message to the west of the Radcliffe Line, thanks largely to their personal chemistry. And unlike some previous US Presidents, Mr Trump chose not to follow up his visit to India with another to Pakistan… as often as not to sing a different piece. No, he hasn

By The Statesman
February 28, 2020


As Covid-19 spreads, public health officials consider plans for a worst-case scenario

 Department of Health Services has a Plan B for a few infections but its Plan C envisions shutting down all schools, public transport and gatherings in case of a mass outbreak. While Covid-19 coronavirus infections have significantly slowed in China, they are rapidly spreading around the globe, prompting countries to step up measures to control the spread and the UN 

By The Kathmandu Post
February 28, 2020


Vietnam reaffirms support for nuclear non-proliferation treaty

Ambassador Dang Dinh Quy, head of Vietnam’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations, has reaffirmed Vietnam’s strong support for the realisation of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) on three pillars. During a session of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in New York on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the NPT, Ambassador Quy affirmed that Vietnam has joined all international efforts regarding non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, including regional and global conventions; complied with the International Atomic Energy Agency’s highest safety standards; and strictly followed the UNSC’s resolutions. He said any intentional, unintentional or miscalculated use of nuclear weapons seriously threatened global peace and

By Viet Nam News
February 28, 2020


Budget debate: Coronavirus concerns present long-term opportunities, say MPs

Many have little savings to see them though a work drought, she said, noting that a number of events and work assignments have been cancelled or deferred as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak. While the coronavirus outbreak has battered businesses, it has also created opportunities to better prepare Singapore for future challenges, MPs said on Thursday (Feb 27). Speaking on Day 2 of the debate on the Budget statement, they said these include getting more firms to adopt e-commerce, diversifying supply sources and making flexible work arrangements permanent for working parents and caregivers. A total of 54 MPs, including political office holders, spoke over two days on various aspects of the Budget. USING TODAY’S CRISIS TO PREPARE FOR THE FUTU

By The Straits Times
February 28, 2020


Coronavirus: 2 new cases confirmed; 4 more, including private hospital doctor, discharged

 Two patients from the Grace Assembly of God cluster, cases 49 and 73, were also discharged.  Two new cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) were confirmed by the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Wednesday (Feb 26) and four others have recovered and were discharged. This brings the total number of cases here to 93, of which 62 have fully recovered. Case 59, the private hospital doctor, was among the four discharged. The 61-year-old Singaporean was confirmed to have the virus on Feb 13 and had been warded at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases. He is not linked to any of the five known clusters but is a non-medical contact of case 72, a 40-year-old man from China who holds a Singapore work pass. Case 56, a Banglad

By The Straits Times
February 27, 2020


Japan provides protective gear for use in battling coronavirus

 The government of Japan has given personal protective supplies to the Ministry of Health to help medical staff if they are required to care for people infected with the coronavirus. The items were handed over at the Ministry of Health on Tuesday by the Ambassador of Japan to Laos, Mr Takewaka Keizo, to Minister of Health Assoc. Prof. Dr Bounkong Syhavong. The supplies comprised 4,680 isolation gowns, 6,100 gloves, 6,000 N95 masks, 13,200 surgical masks, 27 goggles, and 240 bottles of alcohol hand rub. Assoc. Prof. Dr Bounkong thanked the government of Japan for its assistance, saying “On behalf of Laos, we would like to express our appreciation to the government of Japan for its continuing support to our country.” The ministry has been st

By Vientiane Times
February 27, 2020