US, China urged to lay out goals for Asia

Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen opposite Ms Fu Ying, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National People's Congress of China.
Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen opposite Ms Fu Ying, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National People's Congress of China.PHOTO: NG ENG HEN/FACEBOOK

Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said the United States and China had to spell out their overarching foreign policy objectives towards Asia.

This will give other countries the assurance of clear, common and acceptable rules around which to evolve a new order, he told a panel at the Munich Security Conference last Saturday evening.

"That the US as a military power is able to continue its presence and influence in the Pacific is not in doubt. But this military prowess, while necessary, is insufficient for continued stability and progress in Asia," he said. "Similarly, China as a rising power has to articulate its inclusive vision for Asia and beyond."

Dr Ng also emphasised the need for platforms that bring the US, China, Asean and key partners together to help promote a better understanding of one another.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 20, 2017, with the headline 'US, China urged to lay out goals for Asia'. Print Edition | Subscribe