US-China rivalry will persist, fuel swings between ‘cold war and cold peace’: ex-Singapore minister

US-China rivalry will persist, fuel swings between ‘cold war and cold peace’: ex-Singapore minister

The US-China rivalry shaped by Washington’s reluctance to accept China’s rise will be protracted, lasting another 10 or even 20 years, with the world set to “oscillate between a ‘cold war’ and ‘cold peace’”, Singapore’s ex-foreign affairs minister George Yeo said on Wednesday.

There could be “occasional skirmishes” and accidents can happen, he cautioned, but war is not on the cards.

“I think both sides are too rational to move in that direction. But this is a dramatic period,” said Yeo, who is senior adviser to the Kuok Group and Kerry Logistics Network and has spent recent years shuttling between Hong Kong and Singapore.

Speaking at a dialogue hosted by OCBC, Singapore’s second largest bank, Yeo said China senses that the US wants to impede its growth and was prepared for this “multi-year” challenge with the “dual circulation” economic strategy that it is expected to incorporate into its 14th five-year plan.