Last Tuesday's United States-North Korean summit, an unconventional attempt to bring into the fold one of the most isolated nations on earth, spoke well of Singapore's international standing and the enduring values it upholds: a belief in globalisation and rules-based systems, as well as a quest for relevance in an ever-changing world. To the extent that Singapore was the venue for the meeting held between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader, the occasion was historic. Whatever is made of the joint declaration that emerged - criticised widely for its lack of detailed plans on denuclearisation - the consensus is clear that Singapore delivered on its part.
The event was a unique opportunity for Singapore to define itself internationally as a trusted, neutral place to address geopolitical tangles. A somewhat similar moment for Singapore came in the Vietnam War years, when a young Lee Kuan Yew guided the fledgling nation to a position somewhere to the centre of the great capitalist-communist ideologies that were wrestling for global dominance.
TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE
Thank you for reading The Straits Times
You have reached one of our Premium stories. To continue reading, get access now or log in if you are a subscriber.
What is Premium?