(June 19): Singapore is an integral component of globalisation and global trade. It is a role that goes beyond the obvious success of the city-state’s port and airport facilities to include service and supply provision of global companies active in Asia. But there is a danger of developing a self-congratulatory bubble as global news is dominated by Covid-19, the “Black Lives Matter” protests and the collapse of the UK economy. These are all important issues, but they also mask the acceleration in anti-China sentiment.

To be fair, it is easier to assess these changes if you are living in-country rather than relying on local coverage of global events. Singapore and Asia underestimate the growth and vehemency of the anti-China attacks taking place in Australia and the US. This is no longer largely rhetoric and not just about telecommunications networking giant Huawei. Covid-19 has accelerated a serious hardening of positions with a comprehensive media war fed by coordinated leaks and reports from organisations that are funded by government and arms manufacturers.

One national newspaper in Australia routinely carries 10 to 12 full or half-page articles from their weekend opinion columnists that are quite clearly anti-Chinese. The television stations also air regular feature programs on the China threat or its sinister activities in Australia. They all concentrate on the threat that China poses to Australia and alleged attempts to interfere with all manner of Australian activities.

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