Should Singapore agree to the request by the US Navy to be their base? Will China sees this as a threat? How can the government respond to this request?
Here are my views.
a) Singapore already has an agreement to provide naval facilities to the US Navy. This new request can be an extension of the current arrangement.
b) I suppose that the facilities is being provided on commercial terms. It will give economic benefits to Singapore.
c) America will soon come under a new administration. The trade and other disputes between America and China will probably be resolved in the near future.
d) Singapore can have a dialogue with China (through the diplomatic channels in Beijing and Singapore) and explain our approach and decision. We can hear and address any special concern from China.
I am hopeful that this decision can be taken in the interest of preserving the peace and stability of the region and in furthering our economic interest.
Tan Kin Lian