Commentary: Incoming US ambassador to Singapore confirmed at key time in US re-engagement with Asia-Pacific

There is potential for Kaplan to head a US embassy which is usually a linchpin in the US effort to formulate and effectuate a complete Indo-Pacific technique. A political ambassador with a enterprise, know-how, and finance background, mixed with a senior overseas service officer skilled in Singapore as his deputy, supplies the Singapore US embassy management with a set of capabilities vital to be a key participant in creating an Indo-Pacific framework. At his US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations affirmation listening to in October, Kaplan testified his priorities have been strengthening the US-Singapore bilateral commerce relationship, deepening the safety partnership to fight cybercrime and terrorism, and bolstering academic and trade programmes. He additionally highlighted the significance of digital commerce and promised to place the US “front and centre” on commerce discussions. Being a non-traditional diplomat and personal sector stalwart inside an embassy of diplomats will likely be an asset in reaching that purpose. While the topic of the press freedoms in Singapore weren’t included in his opening remarks, a number of senators selected to ask Kaplan about it in the question-and-answer session, together with whether or not he’ll make his workplace out there for individuals who want a voice relating to freedom of the media. “(F)riends are able to talk about difficult topics. They may not want to change — we’re going to want them to change — but we’re going to have a dialogue,” he mentioned in response. While areas in which the US and Singapore are usually not aligned will likely be on the US agenda, we must always count on areas of immense mutual geostrategic pursuits to proceed as the main target of US-Singapore relations.

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