U.S.-Singapore Joint Leaders’ Statement

March 29th, 2022  •  Author:   The White House  •  6 minute read
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President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. is honored to welcome Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong to Washington, D.C. The U.S.-Singapore strategic partnership is anchored in our shared respect for the rules-based international order, adherence to international law, and the principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter – including respect for sovereignty, the peaceful resolution of disputes, cooperation among nations, and fundamental human rights. These principles have underpinned decades of unprecedented peace and stability as well as economic and social development, in the Indo-Pacific region and around the world.

The United States and Singapore recognize that threats to the UN Charter and rules-based international order anywhere, including Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine, place peace and prosperity everywhere at risk. The war in Ukraine has a negative impact on the Indo-Pacific region, which already faces many complex challenges. Taken together, the opportunities and challenges of the 21st century demand deeper cooperation between us.

The leaders welcome the enduring strength of the bilateral strategic partnership, marked by Singapore’s unique status as a Major Security Cooperation Partner, by the 5,400 U.S. companies that call Singapore home, by the countries’ close people-to-people ties, and by the series of high-level bilateral visits during the first year of the Biden-Harris Administration. The leaders resolve to further expand bilateral cooperation, taking bold new steps to drive broad-based economic growth and innovation, raise infrastructure standards in the region, address the climate crisis, promote health security, increase supply chain resilience, improve cybersecurity, ensure the long-term sustainability of outer space activities, and more. As we strengthen our partnership, we will promote a world in which all nations, large and small, can stand together as equals to tackle the most pressing challenges of our era and deliver for our people.

Upholding the Rules-Based International Order

President Biden reiterates the sustained and growing commitment of the United States to its allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific region, as described in the Indo-Pacific Strategy of the United States. President Biden and Prime Minister Lee reaffirm their strong support for ASEAN Centrality and the ASEAN-centered regional architecture. Prime Minister Lee welcomes President Biden’s invitation to ASEAN leaders for a historic ASEAN-U.S. Special Summit in Washington, D.C. The leaders highlight the success of the U.S.-Singapore Third Country Training Program, which has received more than 1700 officials from across ASEAN. The United States seeks cooperation with all partners who share our objectives in the Indo-Pacific region, and to that end, we welcome the Quad’s support for ASEAN Centrality, deeper economic integration, addressing of regional challenges, and promotion of an open, inclusive, stable and secure Indo-Pacific region and a rules-based order. We also welcome the enhanced engagement of European and regional partners in Southeast Asia and the broader Indo-Pacific region.

The United States and Singapore emphasize our unwavering commitment to the principles of sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity, and condemn Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, which clearly violates international law, including the United Nations Charter. The United States and Singapore recognize the need to preserve a world in which borders cannot be changed by force and state-to-state relations are guided by international law. Given the unprovoked attack on Ukraine, many countries across the Atlantic and the Pacific, including the United States and Singapore, have imposed their own financial sanctions and export controls against Russian entities. The United States and Singapore will ensure the effective implementation of their respective measures. The United States and Singapore are deeply concerned about the deteriorating humanitarian crisis in and around Ukraine, and call on all parties to allow safe and unfettered passage of civilians, facilitate unhindered access to humanitarian assistance for those in need in Ukraine, protect civilians, and respect human rights.

Amid global security challenges, the United States and Singapore continue to build on our partnership to pursue our shared interests. The leaders reaffirm a shared commitment to the goal of the complete denuclearization and the establishment of a permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula. Both leaders call on the DPRK to engage in serious and sustained diplomacy and emphasize the importance of full implementation of relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions. The leaders underscore the importance of peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region and encourage the peaceful resolution of disputes. President Biden and Prime Minister Lee also reflected on the close counterterrorism partnership shared by the United States and Singapore, and Singapore’s support of the United States relocation efforts related to Afghanistan last year.

In the maritime domain, the United States and Singapore reaffirm the right of freedom of navigation and overflight and other lawful uses of the seas accorded by international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). We reaffirm the need to pursue peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with international law, including UNCLOS, which sets out the legal framework within which all activities in the oceans and seas must be carried out. We respect states’ ability to conserve, sustainably develop, and effectively manage their maritime natural resources in accordance with international law, including UNCLOS. We reaffirm that all concerned parties must abide by the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, and reiterate our support for ASEAN-led efforts to develop an effective and substantive Code of Conduct for the South China Sea that upholds the legitimate rights and interests of all parties and is consistent with UNCLOS. We also affirm the importance of acting consistently with the relevant Standards and Recommended Practices of the International Civil Aviation Organization, and the relevant instruments and conventions of the International Maritime Organization.

The United States and Singapore share deep concerns about the situation in Myanmar and the challenges it poses to regional stability. We continue to call for an end to violence against civilians in Myanmar, the release of all political detainees, including State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, President Win Myint and foreign detainees; unhindered humanitarian access; and for Myanmar to return to its path of democratic transition. We appreciate the constructive role played by Singapore and ASEAN in facilitating a peaceful solution in the interest of the people of Myanmar, and we call for the Myanmar military regime to urgently implement the ASEAN Five Point Consensus. We are concerned the crisis has reversed years of economic progress in Myanmar and increased the risk of illicit finance.

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