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Foreign Minister K. Shanmugam

Geopolitical realities in East Asia

This is an excerpt from a speech by Foreign Minister K. Shanmugam at the American Jewish Committee Global Forum in Washington on Tuesday. He spoke on United States-China ties and East Asia, Asean and the South China Sea.

Published on May 16, 2014 5:12 PM
A Chinese coast guard ship (left) and a Vietnamese marine guard vessel (flag on right) in the South China Sea, about 210km off the shores of Vietnam, on Wednesday. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

IT IS clear that East Asia is fundamental to United States' prosperity, and vice versa. An economically vibrant US is vital to our prosperity as well.

The World Bank has estimated that this year, East Asia will contribute to 40 per cent of global growth. By about 2030, East Asia will surpass Europe and North America in terms of gross domestic product, population and even technological innovation.

In this context, US engagement in East Asia and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will be game changers. The TPP alone will create nearly 700,000 new jobs in the US by 2025, according to the US Chamber of Commerce.

It is therefore a no-brainer that it is in the US' core interests to tap into East Asian growth and be part of the unfolding East Asian story.

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