China's Belt and Road merely one choice out of many

If one soaks up the hype of China's "cheerleaders", one may be seduced into believing that its Belt and Road initiative is the flagship of the global trading ecosystem (Singapore well-placed to tap Belt and Road opportunities; May 26).

In reality, all roads do not and will not lead to Beijing.

Opportunities for infrastructural capacity-building abound across the world. The Belt and Road initiative is merely one of them.

There are many partners that Singapore can work with to enhance economic inclusivity, sustainability and good governance worldwide.

Singapore can certainly contribute to the sustainable development of cities and economies, as it is a super-connector and super-integrator, boasting an excellent track record of manufacturing as well as packaging goods and services in the form of urban infrastructure and solutions, for example.

This trajectory offers us an excellent platform to further diversify our investments beyond China, and into new terrains for potentially better overall returns.

A little red dot can ill afford to place highly concentrated bets on only one horse.

A little red dot can ill afford to place highly concentrated bets on only one horse.

While the Chinese economy remains a good long-term play, others are joining the race.

Diversification is not just a basic principle of investing, but also part and parcel of being a "neutral" multicultural city-state.

Independent states like Singapore do not become successful and respected by acting as peons and mouthpieces of foreign states.

It is most unfortunate that standing up for our sovereign rights is being viewed as an obstruction by some.

Unlike private corporations, the worth of nation-states transcends mere profit.

Singaporeans ought to have enough confidence in our shared values to take the world as it is, not what outsiders want it to be for us.

Toh Cheng Seong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 02, 2017, with the headline 'China's Belt and Road merely one choice out of many'. Print Edition | Subscribe