Singapore’s success and stability can be attributed to the strong leadership present in our first leaders to the current ones.
Yet, the future does not seem to be too optimistic.
Hostile & Divided World
In fact, the world will become more hostile and challenging for the next generation of leaders than it has been for previous leaders, said Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong.
Speaking at a fireside chat at a UOB Private Bank forum on Friday (3 June), he added that the 4G leaders, led by Finance Minister Lawrence Wong, will inherit a world that is “more divided and dangerous”.
This is because it will be a bipolar world in which countries are forced to choose a side — either the United States or China, according to The Straits Times.
Need the Support of Singaporeans
In light of the bleak future, Singapore’s fourth-generation (4G) leaders must have a strong mandate so that the country can be successful in a world that is becoming more geopolitically unstable and dangerous.
By having the support of Singaporeans, the leaders can avoid a situation where foreign leaders do not take them seriously because they do not believe they will be in power over the long term, Goh said.
Furthermore, as the growing rivalry between China and the US gradually worsens into “the main threat to global stability”, the 4G leaders must have a mandate to govern based on what is best for Singapore.
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Tensions Between US and China
At present, tensions are high between the US and China, particularly with regard to Taiwan.
The conflict was only exacerbated by China’s position on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Meanwhile, Goh stated that the US has warned China not to invade Taiwan and moved to strengthen its relations with Taiwan. Hence, a war over Taiwan, whether intended or unintended, cannot be “ruled out”.
Should a war break out over Taiwan in the South China Sea, Goh said China would win, despite having fewer nuclear weapons and lesser military might than the US, as it has the upper hand where the South China Sea and Taiwan are concerned.
But if the war extends beyond Asia, the US would emerge victorious as it has 5,500 nuclear weapons in comparison to China which has 300.
Goh noted that the US will not give up its dominant role to China as it views it as a long-term strategic threat and has forged alliances to contain China.
But on the other hand, China is not going to roll over and allow the US or anyone else to contain its rise. Both countries view each other as long-term existential threats, he added.
Looking at the way the US is preparing to deepen its ties with Taiwan, Goh feels there will be “no good outcome”.
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