Speaking at a business summit yesterday (Sep 16), Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean has offered Singapore as an “experiment” for China:
“The Republic can be China’s pathfinder whenever the latter wants to do something different or simply experiment… For Singapore, we have to be realistic. We are not looking to be the biggest, or the largest. So we are almost bemused that we are the largest source of foreign investment in China. Where we can play a role for China, is to be a useful pathfinder. Where there are things which China wants to try, wants to experiment with, it makes sense for us, we have some experience, we can work with China.”
Minister Teo Chee Hean also claimed that China learned how to build industrial parks from Singapore in the 1990s and poured praises for China claiming they are the best in the world:
“Government-to-government collaborations between Singapore and China, such as the Suzhou Industrial Park started in the early 1990s. At that time, China was rapidly industrialising, but did not know how to build industrial parks, he recalled. Today, China can do industrial parks better than anybody else.”
The ruling party Singapore government has in recent times made a U-turn policy and turned to China forr economic cooperation instead of the US. Singapore ministers have been praising China in open forums recently to reverse the damage done by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong who earlier angered China by labelling it as an aggressor in the South China Sea territories dispute. Last month at an international economic forum, Law Minister K Shanmugam poured countless praises for China, calling it a “world leader” and their One Belt One Road project “the most ambitious in human history”.
China however were wary and largely unmoved by the Singapore ministers’ empty praises. Singapore remains out of the multi-trillion One Belt One Road project investments, and China continues to invest in Malaysia as the last stop instead of going to Singapore.