The Interview

Singapore 'very concerned' about a new Cold War between the US and China, FM says


In an interview with FRANCE 24, Singapore's Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan expressed his concern at the prospect of a new Cold War between the United States and China. He also discussed the Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting economic crisis.


Balakrishnan told FRANCE 24 his country was "very concerned" about the prospect of a new Cold War between China and the US. He said Singapore had deep economic ties to both giants and was therefore calling on them to iron out their differences and avoid a breakdown in relations. He warned that such a breakdown would hurt the global economy and would mean failure to address key multilateral threats such as climate change, pandemics and terrorism.

Singapore's foreign minister said his country and many others around the globe were facing the "biggest economic slowdown for all of us in our lifetime" and stressed that it should be a time to restructure the economy in depth and not simply wait out the crisis.

He said that although many in Singapore were happy that the country is entering the second phase of its reopening this Friday, it didn't mean the Covid-19 pandemic was over. He stressed that this was precisely the time for the government to be vigilant and avoid a second wave, noting that both testing and contact tracing would be ramped up in the coming weeks.

Finally, Balakrishnan brushed aside privacy concerns over contact tracing tools, claiming the Singaporean government had chosen what he deemed a satisfactory middle ground between a centralised system and a voluntary mechanism.   

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