Singapore's art of the deal in defence diplomacy

Its latest agreement with the Chinese highlights the balancing involved in keeping ties with both China and US on an even keel

In the latest sign of its efforts to maintain strong friendships with both China and the United States, Singapore announced on Sunday that it had updated a defence deal that allows Chinese warships to continue using its military facilities, just as it did for the US under a separate pact.

As a maritime nation, it is in Singapore's interest that trade routes remain free and open. It is also imperative for Singapore to nurture meaningful ties with maritime forces that sail in regional sea lanes. The two points are not mutually exclusive.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 22, 2019, with the headline 'Singapore's art of the deal in defence diplomacy'. Subscribe