China Times: Can Taiwan wield the same influence as Singapore?

Made-for-TV summit puts Trump the Showman in spotlight
FILE - In this June 12, 2018, file photo, North Korea leader Kim Jong Un, left, and U.S. President Donald Trump shake hands at the conclusion of their meetings at the Capella resort on Sentosa Island in Singapore. The series of photos on the front page of the ruling workers’ party newspaper showed something North Koreans never would have imagined just months ago, their leader Kim Jong Un warmly shaking hands with President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool, Fie)

The historical summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un held on June 12 in Singapore has proven that a small country can also exercise great influence on the international stage.

The Trump-Kim summit can be viewed as the most important meeting in the world in a decade, and the choice of Singapore as the venue clearly demonstrates the confidence the two leaders had that the city- state was capable of providing a safe, convenient, courteous, friendly and neutral environment.

The Trump-Kim summit has successfully lifted Singapore’s global status at many levels, making it an ideal venue for hostile enemies to hold dialogue and break the ice.

Singapore has proven that a small country can achieve great things.

More importantly, Singapore is very flexible in dealing with bigger neighboring countries to enhance its own national interests and expand mutual benefits.

Acutely aware that it is a small country, Singapore has always maintained a sense of crisis and sought to expand its own space for development and survival with insight and vision. So when an important event like the Trump-Kin summit occurred, Singapore seized the opportunity to attract the attention of global media.

Seeing Singapore’s efforts and achievements, Taiwan should take a hard look at itself. With a land area of only 716 square kilometers and a population of 5.94 million people, Singapore is much smaller than Taiwan but its per capita income is twice that of Taiwan at US$52,960.

If people in Taiwan feel that it cannot compete with other countries because it is small, the example of Singapore clearly shows that what blocks the development of a country is not the size of its territory or population, but rather the vision, mindset and determination that set its path.

How big your heart is will determine how big the world will be. How strong your will is will determine how far you will reach. Closing your doors and feeling sorry for yourself while blaming the general environment for your failures is simply a case of the weak dodging their responsibilities and being unwilling to take responsibility for their fate. (Editorial abstract, June 13, 2018)

(By Flor Wang)