The world is under threat. Free trade and globalization under threat. And out came Joe Biden and Xi Jinping in Davos to speak up in defence of free trade and against protectionism. Trump’s America are going to raise trade barriers and protectionism, threatening the very institutions the Americans were championing in the last 7 decades. China benefited from the existing world order but Trump is out to dismantle it, claiming that the Americans are losers and he needs to make America great again by breaking down the global system that was built by the Americans.
China is protesting and leading the world leaders to tell the Americans and Europeans that free trade and globalization are good for them and they cannot run away from them. Xi Jinping promised that China would keep its economy open to the world. Klaus Schwab, executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, WEF, hailed Xi’s key note speech, as a ‘very important speech at a historic time’. The free world of the West returning to isolation is raising fears of trade wars.
Joe Biden in his dying days as the Vice President of the USA, joined Xi Jinping to call for the preservation of free trade and globalization. His last few words before his expiry as Vice President spoke volumes on the dire consequences when Trump moves into the White House.
What is happening? Where would Singapore stand now, siding with its old allies that are now against globalization and free trade or standing on the side of China to promote free trade and globalization?
What if the USA raises trade barriers against Singapore imports? What if both China and USA closes their doors to Singapore? Would Singapore take its principled stand on free trade and globalization and joined the Philippines and Malaysia to be on the side of China against the anti free trade and pro protectionism Trump America?