Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who is currently on a working visit to the United States, had a bilateral meeting with President Joseph R. Biden Jr. at the Oval Office on 29 March 2022. They reaffirmed the robust, enduring and multi-faceted Singapore-United States partnership and welcomed new areas of cooperation, including: (i) the renewal and expansion of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to Deepen Cooperation on Infrastructure Development; (ii) the establishment of the United States-Singapore Cyber Dialogue; and (iii) Singapore’s signing of the Artemis Accords.
Prime Minister Lee welcomed President Biden’s strong commitment to engage the region and ASEAN. Both leaders exchanged views on international and regional developments, including the crisis in Ukraine, and reaffirmed their shared commitment to a stable, rules-based global order.
Following the Oval Office meeting, Prime Minister Lee and President Biden issued a Joint Leaders’ Statement. The text of the U.S.-Singapore Joint Leaders’ Statement is at Annex.
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PRIME MINISTER’S OFFICE
29 MARCH 2022
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.
Driving Inclusive Prosperity and Addressing Emerging Challenges
President Biden and Prime Minister Lee underscore their shared commitment to promoting broad-based economic growth in the United States, in Singapore, and throughout the region. They reaffirm the close collaboration between the United States and Singapore on developing an Indo-Pacific economic framework with regional partners that will expand cooperation on trade, supply chains, clean energy, decarbonization, infrastructure, tax, and anti-corruption. They welcome Thailand’s leadership as host of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in 2022, and look forward to the United States hosting APEC in 2023. The leaders reviewed ongoing efforts to facilitate regional trade and increase supply chain resilience and looked forward to the implementation of the U.S.-ASEAN Economic Futures initiative.
The leaders also look forward to expanding economic cooperation under the U.S.-Singapore Partnership for Growth and Innovation (PGI), which aims to secure inclusive growth for our economies and regions in new and forward-looking areas: digital economy, energy and environmental technology, advanced manufacturing, and health services. New initiatives announced under the PGI include the development of interoperable ethical Artificial Intelligence governance frameworks, and plans for a U.S. business development mission to Singapore to facilitate new business opportunities and strengthen partnerships in advanced manufacturing.
President Biden and Prime Minister Lee commit to deepening cooperation between the United States and Singapore on high quality infrastructure development in the region. To that end, the United States and Singapore renewed and expanded the MOU to deepen cooperation on infrastructure development to cover new collaborations in green and sustainable infrastructure projects in the region that address social and economic needs and promote inclusive, private sector-led growth.
The climate crisis poses an existential threat to the world. Recognizing the need to enhance ambition in this decisive decade, the United States has put forward an ambitious target to achieve a 50-52 percent reduction from 2005 levels in economy-wide net greenhouse gas pollution in 2030 and to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by no later than 2050, and Singapore has announced it will raise its climate ambition to achieve net-zero emissions by or around mid-century, and will be making a formal revision to both its Nationally Determined Contribution and Long-Term Low-Emissions Development Strategy (LEDS) later this year after consulting closely with key stakeholders. We commit to strengthening the U.S.-Singapore Climate Partnership, and we look forward to working with other countries to implement the Paris Agreement. President Biden and Prime Minister Lee recognize that decarbonizing the shipping sector is essential to transitioning to a clean energy economy and they commit to working together to advance green shipping, including by establishing alternative bunkering infrastructure for the provision of low- and zero-carbon fuels at our ports.
The United States and Singapore highlight their shared commitment to bolstering global health security and building back better from the COVID-19 pandemic, and preparing for further pandemics and other shocks to health systems. We must work with allies and partners to strengthen and finance vaccine readiness and accelerate efforts to control COVID-19 globally, for example by working with global health organizations such as the World Health Organization, GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations.
The United States and Singapore affirm the importance of ensuring that critical and emerging technologies foster an open, accessible, and secure technology ecosystem, based on mutual trust, confidence, and respect for a rules-based international order. To this end, we commit to increasing resiliency in our technology supply chains, and developing robust approaches to data governance and security, seeking consistency and interoperability where feasible. We also plan to explore R&D and other collaborations, including through the PGI, in order to progress towards affordable, resilient, secure and interoperable advanced high-speed wireless communications (“NextG”) in the Indo-Pacific region.
The United States and Singapore maintain a strong and growing partnership on cybersecurity. We seek global adherence to the UN framework of responsible state behavior in cyberspace and pledge to deepen our cooperation on combating cyber threats, promoting resilience, and securing our critical infrastructure, amongst other issues. We welcome the establishment of the United States-Singapore Cyber Dialogue to cement our cross institutional linkages to jointly tackle cybersecurity issues. We will continue to jointly lead critical efforts in the International Counter Ransomware Initiative to tackle the surge in ransomware attacks worldwide.
The United States and Singapore believe in the importance of creating a safe, stable, secure, and sustainable space environment that facilitates space exploration, science, and commercial activities that benefit all of humanity. President Biden welcomes Singapore’s commitment to the Artemis Accords. President Biden and Prime Minister Lee also welcome the convening of a United States-Singapore Space Dialogue.
Today’s challenges all demand closer cooperation between us. For many decades the United States and Singapore have worked together to overcome the challenges of the day, and we will continue to do so, with determination and resolve. Together, we are deepening our strategic partnership to seize opportunities and address emerging threats. We are defending and strengthening the rules-based international order that has long supported global security and prosperity, and will continue to do so long into the future.
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