What China's trying to do is common knowledge

Mr Bilahari Kausikan's analysis on China's attempts to manipulate opinion and influence the operations of independent sovereignties was simply open expression of what is common knowledge (S'poreans should be aware of China's influence ops: Bilahari; June 28).

His perceptions were neither condemning in nature nor accusatory in tone, and just reminded casual political observers, as most of us are wont to be, that it is the inherent second nature of present day superpowers to carry out such covert machinations, and that it is part of their usual modus operandi for world domination.

It is neither ignoble nor benevolent, and a simple fact of life.

What great global power, so crucial in determining the future destiny of our region, can be so intolerant, unaccommodating and unforgiving in its international outlook that it cannot broach frank discussion of its policies (More caution needed when expressing views in official forums, by Mr Han Cheng Fong; July 4)?

Contrary to what Mr Han writes, newspaper literature is replete with critique of all the major powers with their over-reaching domineering influence and their Machiavellian manoeuvres. China is definitely not singled out for unfair examination.

Even as the Thucydides Trap is closing upon us, with one superpower projecting both soft and hard power on all sides in a no-holds-barred effort to displace the other, it does not need much retrospection nor introspection on any thinking person's part to deduce that minnow nations' hearts, minds and allegiances are incessantly battled for - in the past, now and in the future, in every possible scheming way.

Yik Keng Yeong (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 06, 2018, with the headline 'What China's trying to do is common knowledge'. Print Edition | Subscribe