04 June 2015
PROFESSOR Wang Gungwu referred to the Chinese imperial eunuch Zheng He’s famous voyages in the 15th century as an example to suggest that the Chinese civilisation has historically been focused on accumulating “economic wealth and technological brilliance”. These objectives could also be what a rapidly growing China is after today.
Prof Wang’s essay, published in The Straits Times on Monday as part of the SG+50: Future Trends 2065 Essay Series, came a day after the Shangri-La Dialogue, a high-level security summit which brought together top defence officials from around the world.
Like in previous years, this year’s Shangri-La Dialogue saw discussions on the South China Sea disputes take centre stage. Many policymakers, scholars and journalists took the opportunity to pepper the Chinese representative, the People’s Liberation Army deputy chief of general staff Admiral Sun Jianguo, with questions on China’s reclamation activities and actions in the South China Sea. There was also a strong strategic focus on China’s recent ambitious economic initiatives, namely the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), as well as the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road (“One Belt One Road”).
… The writer is a PhD candidate at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University.
GPO / Online / Print
Last updated on 16/11/2015