(Oct 20): These are fraught times for Asia-Pacific nations caught in the crossfire of the intensifying US-China rivalry. I recently wrote about how one longtime US ally, the Philippines, is repositioning itself between Washington and Beijing. But Manila is hardly alone in trying to protect itself as the geopolitical giants clash.

Singapore confronts a similar challenge, which was thrown into relief by an interview that its prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong, gave last week. Lee's remarks may rankle some US analysts. Yet they highlight the dilemmas faced by weaker states — and point to some imperatives of success for America.

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