At his National Day Rally speech earlier tonight (Aug 21), Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong lodged an offensive position against China saying that he “respect the rules” of the Hague Tribunal that ruled against China. The Hague Tribunal judgment was delivered without China’s involvement and has since been invalidated by both China and Taiwan.
Lee Hsien Loong: “Singapore must support and strive for a rules-based international order and depends on words and treaties. They mean everything to us. This was as Singapore, as a small nation, 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.”
The anti-China comment came after Lee Hsien Loong visited United States President Barrack Obama in a state dinner earlier this month (Aug 2), where he also offered to send troops to Iraq to assist US.
Lee Hsien Loong then went on to criticise the ASEAN countries, claiming that they each have their own vested interests with “Cambodia and Laos are close to China, while the Philippines and Thailand are treaty allies of the US.” He then mocked the association saying:
“If ASEAN cannot deal with a major issue like this on its doorstep, directly affecting its members, in the long run, nobody will take ASEAN seriously.”
However, Lee Hsien Loong somewhat realised the severity of his position against China and ended off the speech saying that he enjoyed a multi-decades relationship with China “much broader than the South China Sea”.