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Defining Ukraine war as battle between democracies and autocracies makes things more difficult: PM Lee & More Singapore News

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Defining Ukraine war as battle between democracies and autocracies makes things more difficult: PM Lee & More Singapore News

SINGAPORE – Seeing the war in Ukraine as a battle between democracies and autocracies complicates the issue, and routinely places Beijing within the improper camp, making it untenable for China to denounce Russia, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has mentioned.

If the battle is as a substitute outlined as one about sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, “even China would not object to that, and would actually privately strongly support that”, he mentioned in a dialogue with The Wall Street Journal editorial board in New York on April 1.

The transcript of PM Lee’s session, which came about throughout his go to to the United States two weeks in the past, was launched by his workplace on Sunday (April 10).

China’s refusal to sentence Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and its signing of a “no limits” friendship pact with Russia three weeks earlier than the assault, has come underneath robust criticism from the West.

PM Lee mentioned: “America asks why China does not stand with it. You have to be very careful not to define the problem with Ukraine in such a way that automatically, China is already on the wrong side, for example, by making this a battle of democracies against autocracies.”

He added: “If you say it is democracies versus Putin’s autocracy, I think that already is difficult. If you say democracies versus autocracies – plural – that already defines China into the wrong camp, and makes things even more difficult.”

He mentioned the actual fact is that the war in Ukraine is one thing that many nations don’t assist.

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“We all have a problem in Ukraine. I think if we talk about sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, a lot of countries can come along,” he added.

Singapore, for one, has stood up for the rules of sovereignty and territorial integrity each time the topic has come up within the United Nations, he mentioned.

For a small nation, it’s an existential challenge, PM Lee reiterated, citing previous cases when Singapore had additionally taken a principled stance, such as when the US invaded Grenada in 1983 and Vietnam invaded Cambodia in 1978.

Outlining why Singapore imposed sanctions towards Russia unilaterally, he mentioned: “Mostly, we’ve not acted independently of the UN’s choices, and we comply with no matter sanctions or choices that UNSC (UN Security Council) comes up with.

“But from time to time, the UNSC is paralysed, like here. And in this case, it is such a big and egregious violation of international norms that we decided we had to act on our own, UNSC or not.”

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