SINGAPORE (Aug 20): The Turkish currency crisis, exacerbated by the weapons of sanctions and trade tariffs, is an illustration of how battles today can be waged. Not a single shot has been fired, but plenty of damage has been wrought on markets, businesses and people.

Observers who spoke to The Edge Singapore say the US’ use of sanctions and tariffs is largely the hallmark of the current administration and not indicative of future US policy. “If Congress can pull [US President Donald Trump’s] administration back, maybe we are looking at [things to improve by early] next year,” says Chong Ja Ian, associate professor at the National University of Singapore’s department of political science. But he says it is also necessary to consider the Chinese side. “The tension on the Chinese economy [as a result of] the trade war is creating pressure within the Chinese Communist Party.”

As the US and China duke it out in the international arena, Singapore faces some risks. “In the past, the line between economics and security was quite [clear],” says Graham Ong-Webb of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies. “This nexus is becoming integrated. Singapore has to value China because it is one of its top trading partners, but we can’t do without the US providing security guarantees and stability in the region.”

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