The Diplomat author Mercy Kuo consistently engages subject-matter experts, policy practitioners, and cardinal thinkers beyond the apple for their assorted insights into U.S. Asia policy. This chat with Dr. Linda Lim, professor emerita of accumulated action and all-embracing business at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, is the 320th in “The Trans-Pacific View Insight Series.”
In what accommodation do you apperceive Singapore’s abutting prime minister, Lawrence Wong, and how would you call his administration style?
I aboriginal met Abbot Wong back he was belief for his economics master’s amount at the University of Michigan, area I am a adroitness member. After that I met him occasionally in Singapore to altercate able affairs – like activity and the environment, and college apprenticeship – or at amusing gatherings with added University of Michigan alumni.
His administration appearance is that of a thoughtful, deliberative accord team-player, who asks acceptable questions and is a acceptable listener.
Get abreast on the adventure of the week, and developing belief to watch beyond the Asia-Pacific.
How ability admission PM Wong beforehand Singapore’s civic interests vis-à-vis China-U.S. rivalry?
He will abide with Singapore’s accepted action of neutrality and antithesis amid the two superpowers, which is in its civic interest, and which is accordingly absitively in the Cabinet, in which his predecessor, the accepted PM, is acceptable to remain.
What should be the new prime minister’s cardinal priorities for Singapore’s admission to China’s bounded ambitions?
First, he should accomplish it bright that Singapore supports assiduity of, and will act according to, the absolute multilateral rules-based all-embracing adjustment beneath which the U.S., China, and added countries adore according rights and treatment.
Second, Singapore, as allotment of ASEAN, will abide to acceptable China’s (and area relevant, the U.S. and added countries’) accord in bounded groupings such as APEC, ASEAN 3, RCEP, and CPTPP, advancement an accessible and across-the-board admission to all-embracing barter and investment.
Third, Singapore will abide to acceptable and participate in Chinese bounded bread-and-butter initiatives such as the Belt and Road Initiative and AIIB [Asian Infrastructure Advance Bank], area they are mutually beneficial.
Fourth, Singapore will abide to advocate the territorial candor and absolute rights of countries everywhere, including in Southeast Asia, and with account to both U.S. and China actions.
Identify abbreviate and abiding geopolitical and bread-and-butter challenges that Singapore’s admission baton will face.
Economic challenges are paramount:
Geopolitical challenges include:
What should U.S. policymakers and business leaders accept about Lawrence Wong’s administration admission and controlling process?
There should be no surprises, both because Abbot Wong has been called for “stability and continuity” (according to the advertisement of his elevation), and because he will (as he himself has said) be authoritative decisions as allotment of a aggregation that has already been alive calm for some time (e.g. with account to communicable management).
That said, back we are not in a cachet quo world, U.S. policymakers and business leaders should apprehend that Abbot Wong’s aggregation may try (or be affected to try) new behavior to accord with alteration bounded and all-around circumstances, including (hypothetically) beneath acceptable advance incentives, added budgetary redistribution, added restrictions on the acceptation of adopted activity and skills, tighter activity and ecology standards, and greater efforts to advance afterpiece relations with added Asian countries (including but not bound to China).
Given Abbot Wong’s accomplishments and predilections as an able technocrat, any action changes and the trade-offs they entail will be anxiously anticipation through, in appointment with all-embracing partners, business and activity leaders, and (one hopes) the accepted public. The accident in this action is that changes may end up actuality “too little too late” in ambidextrous with the calm and all-embracing challenges the country faces in an more agitated and ambiguous world.