28 June 2018
Singapore has not been spared China’s covert “influence operations” and Singaporeans should be aware of when Beijing is trying to manipulate them, retired diplomat Bilahari Kausikan said on Wednesday (June 27).
The conference was co-hosted by the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies and three US-based think-tanks: AidData at the College of William and Mary, the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Asia Society Policy Institute.
While all major countries persuade, induce and coerce, China stands out in three ways, said Mr Kausikan, who now heads the National University of Singapore’s Middle East Institute.
First, it explicitly rejects the norm of not interfering in another state’s domestic affairs, seen in its belief that its interests should be promoted wherever they may be.
Second, China uses a range of tactics from legitimate diplomacy to more covert and often illegal deployment of agents of influence and operations to sway decision makers or public opinion leaders.
Third, the aim of China’s influence ops is not just to direct behaviour but to condition behaviour.
RSIS / Online / Print
Last updated on 28/06/2018