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Singapore PM Warns US-China Tensions Risk Open Conflict

PM Lee Hsien Loong said a ‘storm is gathering’ with the US and China risking a miscalculation that would threaten global stability

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong arrives for the Leaders' Retreat, on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting at the Intare Conference centre in Kigali, Rwanda June 25, 2022. Photo: Reuters


Singapore’s Prime Minister has warned China and the US to step back from the brink of all-out conflict with tensions between the superpowers at an all-time high.

PM Lee Hsien Loong on Monday warned of the risk of a miscalculation as the fallout from US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s controversial visit to Taiwan last week continued to be felt around the globe.

In a televised address ahead of the city-state’s national day on Tuesday, Lee said Singapore would be directly impacted by any conflict, and should prepare for a future less peaceful and stable than now. 

“Around us, a storm is gathering. US-China relations are worsening, with intractable issues, deep suspicions and limited engagement,” Lee said.

“This is unlikely to improve anytime soon. Furthermore, miscalculations or mishaps can easily make things much worse.” 


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Lee said economic challenges were more immediate and that Singapore’s outlook has “clouded considerably,” adding that the government will roll out more measures in coming months to help people cope with rising prices.

Singapore’s inflation has reached more than a decade-high in recent months, and its central bank tightened its monetary policy on July 14 in an off-cycle move to cope with the cost pressure.

The city-state has earlier announced support package for mainly lower-income groups to help mitigate increased living costs from inflation and rising energy prices.

“The world is not likely to return anytime soon to the low inflation levels and interest rates that we have enjoyed in recent decades,” he said, adding the country of 5.5 million people must plan far ahead and transform industry, upgrade skills and raise productivity.


  • Reuters with additional editing by Sean O’Meara


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Sean O'Meara

Sean O'Meara is an Editor at Asia Financial. He has been a newspaper man for more than 30 years, working at local, regional and national titles in the UK as a writer, sub-editor, page designer and print editor. A football, cricket and rugby fan, he has a particular interest in sports finance.


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