What is this rock solid partnership all about? It is all about shared interests and common mission for a peaceful and prosperous Asia Pacific and a more secured world backed by the American military pivot in the region, with military bases and weapons to make sure there is peace and security. What have Singapore done to deserve this honour apart from hosting US military personnel and equipment here, like airbase for the P8 Poseidon spy planes and littoral combat ships?
Singapore’s unstinting support for the TPP is another big act that is most appreciated by the Obama regime. Not sure if this would turn bad when Trump or Hillary takes over. Singapore’s support for the US military pivot and the military intervention in the South China Sea need no further explanation. Not sure if Vivian’s absence as the co chairman of the China Asean Summit during the final briefing with Wang Yi is also part of this rock solid partnership. But Singapore’s undying and continuous call for the Americans to remain in the region to balance the growing influence of China is sweet music that the Americans would love to hear, being invited to dominate a region by the countries in the region.
There are many other cooperation and support that Singapore offered to the Americans, like being part of the Coalition of the Willing and sending military personnel to Iraq and other areas of military operations that the Americans are involved, for peace and security of the world of course.
Asean leaders that want to be invited to the White House and to be honoured and feasted like Hsien Loong sure have a lot to learn from Singapore and a lot to do to deserve such a great honour. Malaysia can count itself out for a long time or at least until Najib is removed and a more amicable PM that enjoyed being invited to the aircraft carriers takes over. Philippines would stand a good chance to be the next guest of honour in the White House. Unfortunately the chance has diminished without Aquino. Aquino would definitely be invited after The Hague Tribunal Show and would be greatly appreciated and honoured if he remains as the President.
China too has something to learn from this American diplomacy to honour its allies and rock solid partners. China may want to invite Hun Sen and wife and host an equally big dinner in Zhong Nan Hai with all the pomp and pageantry to reward Cambodia for the behind the door support in the last Asean Foreign Ministers Meeting in Vientiane. Hun Sen would feel better even if he is called a Trojan Horse by those in the American camp. Trojan Horses enjoyed being rewarded when the contribution is significant and to the interests of China. The Chinese must learn to be suave and savvy in black tie diplomacy as well.