Dr Vivian Balakrishnan: Foreign Policy begins at home

The seizure of Singapore’s Terrex military vehicles and current relationship with China were subjects of multiple questions from Members of Parliament during the sitting on Parliament on 9 January 2017.

In addressing Singapore’s current relationship with China in response to questions from People’s Action Party Member of Parliament (MP) Zaqy Mohammed and Workers’ Party MP Low Thia Khiang, Singapore’s Foreign Minister Dr Vivian Balakrishnan said: “In international relations, it is natural for countries to want other parties to act entirely in line with their own national interests.”

He added that “as a small state, Singapore will from time to time encounter such expectations from other countries, and many of these other countries will be much bigger than Singapore.”

See video for full response by Dr Balakrishnan:

In a Facebook post on 11 January on his Facebook page, Dr Balakrishnan added: “We are a little red dot. From time to time, we will face pressure from other countries to align ourselves completely with their interests. This is realpolitik. Sometimes we will have to have a polite disagreement but tell them that “we are still for you and not against you”.

He ended the post with a reminder that “in times like these, all Singaporeans must remain calm and united. We must focus on the big picture and understand our own long-term national interests. Ultimately, foreign policy begins at home.”



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