Tuesday, June 5, 2018

US-China relations: Keep Trying

Tom Plate calls Singapore "Smart Power". As a foreign writer he is unconstrained and may be where he comes from they are used to being more imaginative. Here we watch over our shoulders too much.

PM Lee has always been a good student of his late father's ideas and it comes sparkling through in this conversation with Tom Plate. What we do not know and may never is if he is able to when to adapt or reject old ideas when things change permanently. That is when the why of whys of previous ideas change.

PM Lee and his team are first class for understanding our problems but what is lacking are bold and imaginative solutions. I think from the late LKY perspective many of our problems are intractable if we cannot up our birth rates and it is clear we have not. Now I am not discussing this topic here, another time perhaps.

What I waited and did not get the satisfaction of reading is for PM Lee to say to the US and China is simply this: Keep trying to get along but also always commit to peaceful solutions. Make use of the time to understand each other better. In the past America's overwhelming superiority was a buffer to play nice and generous with China. Now that is gone the US feel insecure. Security blanket must be replaced with knowing China better. The Chinese must understand there may not be a peaceful rise for them but a huge waste of resources from overcoming obstacles the Americans will put in front of them if they do not do more to help American feel less threatened. China has to understand more haste means less speed and in this instance great danger as well. Domestically both sides must do something to rein in their hawks. There is not future in conflict. It is a totally bankrupt path.

No comments:

Post a Comment