On July 16, The Jamestown Foundation’s China Brief published an article by Russell Hsiao titled “A Preliminary Survey of CCP Influence Operations in Singapore.” The piece has already been viewed over 10,300 times, making it one of the most read in the history of the publication. Within days, Hsiao’s analysis attracted widespread attention from Singaporean news agencies. One commentary from The Straits Times in particular was met with a defensive rebuke from the Chinese Embassy in Singapore.
The article has drawn vast attention to the growing threat perception of Chinese influence operations in Singapore. As a pivotal Southeast Asian city-state and close ally of the United States, Singapore is in a key strategic position abutting global trade routes. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has numerous abilities to leverage this key ally, which allows US warships access to its Changi naval base, and hosts a vitally important logistical planning facility for the US Navy’s 7th Fleet. With a population that is 76.2% ethnic Chinese, Singapore is also uniquely vulnerable to CCP influence operations. Hsiao, who is Executive Director of the Global Taiwan Institute, argues the CCP’s objective is to leverage clan, cultural, civil society, and business associations to impose a Chinese identity on Singapore to compel it to align more closely with Beijing’s interests.
Hsiao’s “A Preliminary Survey of CCP Influence Operations in Singapore” exemplifies The Jamestown Foundation’s mission to provide timely information concerning critical political and strategic developments in China, Russia and Eurasia. Singapore is a key country in the United States’ emerging struggle with China for influence in the Indo-Pacific. This analysis provides crucial information for the public and policymakers in understanding how China is pursuing its interests in this competition.
The latest edition of China Brief can be read here.