At the sold out Singapore Conference in Washington, Shanmugam pointedly told the Americans to shut up and stop trying to sow discord in Asia. He warned the Americans that the thought and talk of containing China is pure hogwash and would not be accepted by Asian and Asean in particular. It would not work. Asians are no longer unthinking colonized people that can be made to dance with the Western powers pulling all the strings. Asians will determine what is best for them and how to conduct their international relations with other countries. Asians know what is best in their own interest.
The Americans were advised to build more trade relations with Asian countries instead of military alliances and inciting differences and wars. The Americans must be shocked to get a bollocking from their little staunch supporter whom they probably believed will dance to whatever tune they played. And I think, I am not Shanmugam, Shanmugam’s message is more a consensus position of the Asean states with one or two exceptions.
The Americans must take note that their rhetoric to provoke cross border animosity is noted and that the Asean states will not be easily deceived and to allow conflicts to flare up in the region.
Please buzz off if that is the American intention. We don’t need conflicts, we don’t need wars.