Watch This | Kishore Mahbubani on why US goes from helping China to constraining China
Kishore Mahbubani, former Permanent Representative of Singapore to the United Nations and currently a Distinguished Fellow of the Asian Research Institute at the National University of Singapore, gave a speech in Hong Kong on Tuesday (April 25) at noon entitled "Can China Outcompete the US? The relative political, economic, social and cultural strengths of these two giants".
In the Q&A session after the speech, when asked about China-US relations, Mahbubani said that geopolitics is a very sentimental business, and it is not surprising that the US has changed its attitude from helping China to trying to constrain its rise.
Mahbuban said it is an undeniable fact that the US did help China rise, because China was the most powerful asset that the US had in the Cold War against the Soviet Union, and therefore the US was happy to see China rise. However, with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the US no longer needs China as a strategic partner, so China is seen as a competitor instead, he added.
In his speech, Mahbubani mentioned the concept of an iron law of dual politics, which says that whenever the world's number one emerging power is about to overtake the world's number one power, the world's number one power always pushes down the world's number one emerging power, which is the deeper force driving the race between China and the United States.
From the point of view of the number one power, the US, there's a huge difference between being number one and being number two, so the US has taken all kinds of actions and ways to disturb China to make sure the US will not lose its number one position, according to Mahbubani.