About the Paper Strategist Blog

‘The empire, long divided, must unite;
long united, must divide.
Thus it has ever been.’

The Paper Strategist consists of commentaries on the risk profile of China’s rise – especially focused on its foreign policy intentions in South East Asia and how Singapore responds to them.

Many Singaporeans have a nastily infantile understanding of all the critical threats to their survival. international diplomacy and relations


PM Lee spoke of how Mr Lee and his generation had built Singapore and made sure it would thrive well beyond them. Indeed, Singapore’s survival was always Mr Lee’s top worry.

In his speech in Mandarin, PM Lee cited a time two years ago, when Mr Lee was already old and frail.  He had listened to a heated debate in Parliament on bread-and-butter issues, and was deeply troubled.  He was worried that Singaporeans had forgotten all the critical threats to their survival.

So he prepared a draft speech, wanting to speak in Parliament to remind people of the hard truths. But, PM Lee said, he explained to Mr Lee that he had done more than his part over the decades and that it was now the job of the new team of leaders. Mr Lee accepted this and did not give his speech in the end.

韬光养晦, 天策上將

WORKING TITLE: The ‘little red dot’’s bipolar dilemma: Singapore’s balancing of US-China rivalry in the ASEAN strategic order

This comprises three interconnected parts:

  • Tributary System 2.0: Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank
  • Maritime Power 2.0: South China Sea Dilemma
  • Silk Road 2.0: One Belt, One Road

The bank funds the physical inroads both on land and water to establish the soft power that’s always been somewhat missing in their locker throughout antiquity.

Caveat: I am based about at least 7500km away from Beijing.