Minister Shanmugam attended a dinner organised by the Atlantic Council which honoured former Prime Minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew with its Global Citizen Award.  This award was launched by the Atlantic Council five years ago to celebrate individuals for their significant contributions to improving the state of the world.  When accepting the award on Mr Lee’s behalf, Minister Shanmugam said that it was worth noting what Mr Lee had consistently advocated in the context of big power relations, including the US and its role in Asia.  Mr Lee understood that the presence of the US was vital to regional peace and balance, and hence had spoken in support for a strong US presence in the region.  Mr Lee also recognised that despite its challenges, the US remained at the pinnacle of international hierarchy, given the creativity, resilience, and innovative spirit of its people and its open door to talent from abroad.  At the same time, Mr Lee was also close to and taken seriously by the leaders of China, from the late Mr Deng Xiaoping to succeeding Chinese leaders.  Mr Lee had encouraged China to become stakeholder in the international system and engaged the Chinese in many other ways.  Beyond the US and China, Mr Lee was taken seriously by many other world capitals as well.

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