The 2016 US presidential election is beginning to heat up, with two candidates as different as any match-up we have seen in recent times. Historically, Singapore has maintained close ties with the US and advocated a strong US military presence in the Asia-Pacific region to ensure stability. Singapore has also been a vocal supporter of multilateral diplomacy in the region. With Clinton and Trump holding starkly contrasting views on the aforementioned, the election result has the potential to drastically impact Singapore.
Following PM Lee’s State Dinner visit to the White House earlier this month, Blackbox was keen to find out local Singaporeans’ views on the upcoming election. When asked recently in our weekly polling about the effect of the US presidential election on Singaporean-US relations, just over nine in ten Singaporeans stated that the election of Hillary Clinton would ensure similar or improved relations with the United States. In contrast, nearly two thirds of Singaporeans felt that SG-US relations would sour under Donald Trump, with over three quarters of those aged between 15-34-years sharing this view.
Singapore’s Future Diplomatic Ties Discussed
Given the changes to regional power dynamics, we also took the opportunity to ask Singaporeans whether they see our future built around closer ties with China or the US. Unsurprisingly, over three quarters of Singaporeans believe in maintaining equally strong ties with both countries, suggesting a desire to remain largely neutral amongst the two superpowers. Only 6% think Singapore should exclusively favour China, whilst 17% think we should favour closer ties with the US.