26 January 2021,   20:30
Singapore PM calls for end to US-China blame game

Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said it would be a pity if the U.S. failed to put to use its immense expertise, soft power and resources to lead global efforts to overcome the “grave challenge to mankind” posed by the Covid-19.

He also decried the US-China blame game that has erupted in recent weeks over the outbreak, saying it was “not going to help us solve the problem sooner”.

The comments by the Singaporean leader come as Donald Trump’s administration remains mired in criticism over its fractured response to the crisis, with few countries looking to the American leader or his top officials for guidance on dealing with the pandemic.

Instead, the fastidious approaches wielded by the likes of Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea in testing and tracking down infected people are being seen as instructive for the rest of the world.

China, which is slowly recovering after bearing the early brunt of the outbreak, has meanwhile started to assert a leadership role by doling out donations of medical supplies to dozens of its trading partners.

Lee said he wanted to see American leadership of the situation: “Yes, of course. You have the resources, you have the science, you have the influence, you have the soft power, and you have the track record of dealing with these problems convincingly and successfully, and in the greater good of many countries, not just the US”.