Kishore Mahbubani

Distinguished Fellow, Asia Research Institute at National University of Singapore
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Kishore Mahbubani is a Distinguished Fellow at the Asia Research Institute (ARI), National University of Singapore (NUS).

Mr Mahbubani has been privileged to enjoy two distinct careers, in diplomacy (1971 to 2004) and in academia (2004 to 2019). He is a prolific writer who has spoken in many corners of the world.

In diplomacy, he was with the Singapore Foreign Service for 33 years (1971 to 2004). He had postings in Cambodia, Malaysia, Washington DC and New York, where he twice was Singapore’s Ambassador to the UN and served as President of the UN Security Council in January 2001 and May 2002. He was Permanent Secretary at the Foreign Ministry from 1993 to 1998. As a result of his excellent performance in his diplomatic career, he was conferred the Public Administration Medal (Gold) by the Singapore Government in 1998.

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  • China’s biggest strategic error was to alienate its number one friendly constituency in the United States, which was the American business community. Because frankly, for a long time in the past, for example in the mid 1990s, when President Bill Clinton wanted to pass some measures against China, the American business community immediately said: ‘Stop, stop, please don’t go there, China’s got a big market.’ They were always the one force that would prevent any major downturn in US-China relations. But what’s significant is that when President Trump finally launched his trade war against China ... no one spoke up.

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