In the latest sign of its efforts to maintain strong friendships with both China and the United States, Singapore announced on Sunday that it had updated a defence deal that allows Chinese warships to continue using its military facilities, just as it did for the US under a separate pact.

As a maritime nation, it is in Singapore’s interest that trade routes remain free and open. It is also imperative for Singapore to nurture meaningful ties with maritime forces that sail in regional sea lanes. The two points are not mutually exclusive.

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