Singapore-celebrates-National-Day-in-Seoul
Singapore Amb. Eric Teo, center, poses with South Korean officials and diplomates in an event aimed at celebrating Singapore’s 57th National Day in Seoul. Photo courtesy of Singapore Embassy

‘Staying united is key to Singapore’s survival’: Amb. Eric Teo

Singapore’s Amb. to South Korea Eric Teo hosted an event to commemorate the former country’s 57th National Day in downtown Seoul late this week.

Marking is first in-person reception in Seoul, Amb. Teo talked about Singapore’s geographic edge as a financial hub and its close partnerships with Korea.

Korea’s former foreign ministers like Han Seung-ju, Yoon Byung-se, and Song Min-soon took part in the reception on top of erstwhile environment minister Yoo Young-sook and lawmakers.

Amb. Teo accredited today’s prosperity and stable situation of Singapore not only to its people’s diligence but also to the collaboration of the international community, including South Korea.

“After many ups and downs, we have come through as one united people. We are now in a much better position. Our population is highly vaccinated and well protected. Our hospitals and clinics are still busy but not overwhelmed,” he said.

“Despite the recent surge in cases, we have been able to avoid tightening measures again.”

With regard to its geopolitical environment, however, a spokesperson at the Embassy of Singapore in Seoul said that the future is not a bed of roses.

“Our road ahead will not be easy. Around us, a storm is gathering. US-China relations are worsening, with intractable issues, deep suspicions, and limited engagement between them. This is unlikely to improve anytime soon. Furthermore, miscalculations or mishaps can easily make things much worse,” the spokesman said.

“What can we do about this? Staying united is key to Singapore’s survival – it is the only way to deal with challenges in an increasingly troubled world. We must look to our total defense and maintain a strong and credible SAF and Home Team. We must also brace ourselves and be psychologically prepared that in the next decades, our region may not be as peaceful and stable as it has been thus far.”

The spokesman said that the global community would have to join forces to deal with the obstacles, stressing the close partnership between Singapore and South Korea.

In fact, Singapore signed its first travel bubble agreement with Korea during the COVID-19 era.

More than 1,000 Korean companies are operating in Singapore, while a mounting number of people there love Korean culture like K-pop, K-drama, and K-movie.

Amb. Teo expected the two countries would make further efforts to build an exemplary partnership not only in the region but also all over the world.

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Yeo studied German in Seoul. He has worked as a journalist for the past 40 years. He has mostly covered diplomacy, foreign schools, regional festivals, culture and other areas. He can be reached at hyeo7832@gmail.com or 82-2-6956-6698.