China should meet ASEAN 'more than halfway' on South China Sea code of conduct: George Yeo

ONEINNEWS.COM - China should meet the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) "more than halfway" in negotiations on a Sou...



ONEINNEWS.COM
- China should meet the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) "more than halfway" in negotiations on a South China Sea code of conduct, Singapore's former foreign affairs minister George Yeo said on Thursday (Dec 15).

"China is fond of asking other countries to meet it halfway in negotiations. Compromise is always good, and always to be encouraged," said Mr Yeo.

"In the case of the South China Sea, I think China should go more than halfway and meet ASEAN 60-40 on the code of conduct, because it's so much bigger and stronger."

He said this would help to defuse an issue that is "easily exploited by external powers".

The United States could also help ASEAN by being "less direct in its actions" in the South China Sea, said Mr Yeo.

"Best for the US Navy to be beyond the horizon, beyond visual range, but can be seen on a radar," he said.

He added that in the longer term, it was better for the US to go along with ASEAN than try to dominate the region, but that this requires a greater understanding of the region and more subtlety.

Mr Yeo was delivering the Goh Keng Swee Lecture on Modern China to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the National University of Singapore's East Asian Institute.

He is the first Singaporean to deliver the lecture. Diplomats including China's Ambassador to Singapore Sun Haiyan were in attendance.

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Mr Yeo's lecture on the topic of China in a multipolar world also touched on the US-China rivalry, border clashes between China and India, as well as Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Mr Yeo said that China "much prefers a multipolar world, and sees it as inevitable". 

At the same time, the US would be "more likely to renew itself as a beacon for the world" by moving towards multipolarity.

"The current policy of identifying Russia as enemy and China as long-term strategic competitor shows US determination to preserve global dominance with the help of a Western alliance. I doubt it can succeed," he said.

"As a multipolar world benefits China, it behoves China to help bring it about peacefully, by easing the transition," he said, adding that Chinese officials should avoid "excessive self-righteousness".

On border clashes between China and India, Mr Yeo also suggested that China meet India "more than halfway, maybe 55-45, because India does feel itself the weaker power".

Addressing Russia's invasion of Ukraine, he said that China is closely watching the US and its Western allies' "hybrid war" against Russia.

"China is carefully analysing the Ukraine war, in all its aspects, knowing that a similar but larger hybrid war may be unleashed on it should it decide to move forcefully in Taiwan," he said.

Mr Yeo was based in Hong Kong for several years after leaving politics in 2011. 

In his lecture, he briefly recounted living through the city's violent protests in 2019.

"My wife and I were relieved when the national security law was introduced because it restored peace and public safety," he said, referring to the law introduced by China in 2020.

Source: CNA/dv(mi)


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ONEinNews.com : China should meet ASEAN 'more than halfway' on South China Sea code of conduct: George Yeo
China should meet ASEAN 'more than halfway' on South China Sea code of conduct: George Yeo
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