The escalating China-US full-scale competition and the lack of mutual strategic trust between the two major powers pose significant threat to world peace and stability.
Small states are compelled to adjust their foreign policy posture accordingly, based on their perception and interpretation of the fast-evolving global and regional geopolitics.
Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said at the Shangri-La last weekend that, “the fundamental problem between the US and China is a mutual lack of strategic trust. This bodes ill for any compromise or peaceful accommodation.”
Small states have limited capacity and resources to impact international order, but they are not entirely without agency.
“There are many opportunities for smaller countries to work together to deepen economic cooperation, strengthen regional integration, and build up multilateral institutions. This way, we can strengthen our influence as a group, and advance a collective position on issues that matter to us, be it trade, security or technology,” stated Mr. Lee.
Chheang Vannarith is President of the Asian Vision Institute.
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