Screenshot of Lee Hsien Loong from AFP video

Speaking at a Question-and-Answer session at the APEC CEO Summit last Friday (Nov 18), Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong hit out at China saying that the country is no longer the middle kingdom.

“In this new world, there is no country which is the middle kingdom. Nowadays, however strong an economy is, not all roads will lead only there. There will be other links between countries in Asia, with America, with Europe, and China will fit into this global network.”

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has been stepping on toes of foreign countries recently because of his thoughtless and unsolicited commentaries. On United States, the son of Lee Kuan Yew said US President Donald Trump won the election only because white middle class and poor Americans are angry. He said the same for British voters over the referendum result to exit the European Union.

Singapore is becoming increasingly isolated as neighbours Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines lean towards China who have reciprocated warmly with  investments amounting to tens of billions.

China is currently on an indirect passive aggression against Singapore as it directs all its wealthy state funds into Malaysia in an aim to replace Singapore’s position as an entrepot in the Malacca Straits. In the recent quarterly GDP result, Singapore is the only Asian country to post a negative result (-4.1%) while the others all posted positive growth.