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(Analysis) The South China Sea disputes: Singapore as an 'honest broker'?

2014-11-26 09:33:26       source:Eurasia Review

By Daniel Wei Boon Chua


November 25, 2014


"During the recent ASEAN Summit in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, Singapore's Foreign Minister Mr K Shanmugam spoke with the media regarding the South China Sea disputes involving China and ASEAN members. Because Singapore is not a claimant of the disputes, Shanmugam suggested that Singapore could be an "honest broker". But is it even possible for Singapore to be an honest broker, and would playing such a role contribute to Singapore's interests?


Although Singapore does not claim any part of the South China Sea, it has strong interests in the stability of the region. Singapore's economy depends heavily on trade and is highly sensitive to hindrances to the freedom of navigation in all international sea lanes. Stability in the South China Sea, which is a maritime area close to Singapore, is therefore vital to Singapore's economic interest."


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