EDITOR'S NOTE: U.S.-China relations have certainly seen better days. Relations have soured over the last six years, and Pelosi’s Taiwan visit last week only managed to escalate hostilities even further. Yesterday, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong warned in a televised address that "around us, a storm is gathering…U.S.-China relations are worsening, with intractable issues, deep suspicions, and limited engagement." Okay, let’s back up. All of these factors are legitimate concerns, especially for Singapore, as such factors punctuate something of a regional threat (a war next door is never a good thing). Yet metaphors can get messy, particularly in Singapore’s case, as these factors are, strangely enough, conflated. The storm connotes the probable risk of miscalculation (between the US and China), but it also refers to Singapore’s inflation rate. The PM’s prospects are anything but optimistic, and this gives us insightful data with regard to a particular region’s global outlook. The proverbial storm “is unlikely to improve anytime soon,” he says. While a large segment of American investors believe that we dodged a recessionary bullet (even though we may not have) it’s always important to pay attention to the clouds on the global horizon. After all, a falling tide sinks all boats.
SINGAPORE, Aug 8 (Reuters) - Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Monday warned of the scope for miscalculations over tensions in the Taiwan Strait, which he said were unlikely to ease soon amid deep suspicion and limited engagement between the United States and China.
In a televised address ahead of the city-state's national day on Tuesday, Lee said Singapore would be buffeted by that intense rivalry and tension in the region, which should prepare for a future less peaceful and stable than now.
"Around us, a storm is gathering. U.S.-China relations are worsening, with intractable issues, deep suspicions, and limited engagement," Lee said.
"This is unlikely to improve anytime soon. Furthermore, miscalculations or mishaps can easily make things much worse."
Lee said economic challenges were more immediate and that Singapore's outlook has "clouded considerably", adding that the government will roll out more measures in coming months to help people cope with rising prices.
Singapore's inflation has reached more than a decade-high in recent months, and its central bank tightened its monetary policy on July 14 in an off-cycle move to cope with the cost pressure. read more
The city-state has earlier announced support package for mainly lower-income groups to help mitigate increased living costs from inflation and rising energy prices. read more
"The world is not likely to return anytime soon to the low inflation levels and interest rates that we have enjoyed in recent decades," he said, adding the country of 5.5 million people must plan far ahead and transform industry, upgrade skills and raise productivity.
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Originally published on Reuters.