US, China challenging status quo: Ng Eng Hen

The unilateral actions of both the United States and China challenge the status quo which Asia has thus far benefited from, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said at the close of the Shangri-La Dialogue yesterday.

He cited US tariffs on steel and aluminium imports on grounds of national security, and China's build-up of military facilities on disputed islands in the South China Sea.

While Dr Ng acknowledged that both global powers were acting to protect their core interests, he called it a lose-lose scenario for the world if the US and China are unwilling to work together to forge an inclusive, rules-based system.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 04, 2018, with the headline 'US, China challenging status quo: Ng Eng Hen'. Print Edition | Subscribe