Lee Hsien Loong at a loss of words

China state media Global Times yesterday (June 11) published an article welcoming Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s “positive” comments on China’s One Belt One Road project but also warned that China has to remain cautious of Lee Hsien Loong’s flip-flop diplomacy.

Global Times criticised Lee Hsien Loong for allowing US submarines to conduct surveillance operations on China movements in the South China Sea from the naval base in Singapore, and also point out his role against China on the territorial disputes.

The Chinese state media also criticised Lee Hsien Loong for being less adept than his father Lee Kuan Yew and that the Singapore Prime Minister is incapable of understanding the complexities in international politics:

“On the other hand, Singapore may not abandon its flip-flop diplomacy and China needs to be prepared for this. Singapore’s diplomatic thinking is hard to change shortly. Lee Hsien Loong is less adept at balancing diplomacy than his father Lee Kuan Yew, and geopolitical competition in Asia nowadays has become more complicated. Therefore, Singapore is confronted with more difficulties.”

Global Times also commented that the Lieutenant-General delegate China sent to attend Singapore’s Shangri La Dialogue is still too high, because the defence summit is manipulated for US and Japan. The state media said that China intends to send a lower ranked representative in next year’s dialogue and that China will unlikely change its attitude towards Lee Hsien Loong.

Lee Hsien Loong was boycotted in a high profile One Belt One Road meeting last month in China , with Minister Lawrence Wong representing Singapore instead.