Comment: Ruckus on the US Democracy Summit a sign of unsafe Singapore?
SINGAPORE: I blamed myself this week for reading about the results of the Democracy Summit on Friday like an obsessed stalker not invited to an ex’s wedding.
The news came to the court on Thursday (December 9th) from US President Joe Biden about 100. known countries at what was touted as a gathering of world leaders to counter a growing wave of authoritarianism.
The implication, to quote a foreign policy clichéé, is that when you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.
Infer from this, some in Singapore was deeply disappointed that we were not invited.
Political commentators gave their two cents for this to be typical American behavior – think Singapore for a country devoid of free speech, intolerant of different political opinions and triggers.happy when it comes to beating people up. (Really? It’s been over 25 years since Michael Fay.)
The Ambassador General Prof. Tommy Koh, the foreign policy veteran Bilahari Kausikan and the former US Ambassador Chan Heng Chee criticized the failure on Thursday (December 9th).
Singapore should havewas invited, said Prof. Koh, because it meets the criteria for democracy that are critical from his point of view – with free and fair elections, a constitution that guarantees fundamental freedoms, an independent judiciary and the rule of law.
Well, Singapore wasn’t the only country that resented this perceived weakness.
The democracy summit also triggered a trade in unpleasant barbs elsewhere – as this jewel by a Russian political scientist who writes in the Global Times compares the meeting with “a mistress of a brothel who teaches schoolgirls morality …”.
Chinese media Also went all out to cast a shadow on whether America was really still the best democracy it had to offer, and suggested that democracy has a broader definition that China would have met. But does that sound a little too “if you can’t hit them, join them”?
A BELT AND STREET INITIATIVE DEJA VU
The big reactions in Singapore were surprising because it felt like it Déjà vu.