SINGAPORE – Seeing the battle in Ukraine as a battle between democracies and autocracies complicates the issue, and robotically places Beijing within the unsuitable camp, making it untenable for China to denounce Russia, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has mentioned.
If the battle is as an alternative outlined as one about sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, “even China wouldn’t object to that, and would truly privately strongly assist that”, he mentioned in a dialogue with The Wall Road Journal editorial board in New York on April 1.
The transcript of PM Lee’s session, which occurred throughout his go to to the US two weeks in the past, was launched by his workplace on Sunday (April 10).
China’s refusal to sentence Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and its signing of a “no limits” friendship pact with Russia three weeks earlier than the assault, has come below robust criticism from the West.
PM Lee mentioned: “America asks why China doesn’t stand with it. It’s important to be very cautious to not outline the issue with Ukraine in such a method that robotically, China is already on the unsuitable facet, for instance, by making this a battle of democracies towards autocracies.”
He added: “For those who say it’s democracies versus Putin’s autocracy, I feel that already is troublesome. For those who say democracies versus autocracies – plural – that already defines China into the unsuitable camp, and makes issues much more troublesome.”
He mentioned the actual fact is that the battle in Ukraine is one thing that many nations don’t assist.
“All of us have an issue in Ukraine. I feel if we discuss sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, a whole lot of nations can come alongside,” he added.
Singapore, for one, has stood up for the rules of sovereignty and territorial integrity each time the topic has come up within the United Nations, he mentioned.
For a small nation, it’s an existential situation, PM Lee reiterated, citing previous cases when Singapore had additionally taken a principled stance, corresponding to when the US invaded Grenada in 1983 and Vietnam invaded Cambodia in 1978.
Outlining why Singapore imposed sanctions towards Russia unilaterally, he mentioned: “Principally, we have now not acted independently of the UN’s choices, and we observe no matter sanctions or choices that UNSC (UN Safety Council) comes up with.
“However occasionally, the UNSC is paralysed, like right here. And on this case, it’s such an enormous and egregious violation of worldwide norms that we determined we needed to act on our personal, UNSC or not.”