Singapore’s primary Chinese language newspaper Lianhe Zaobao recently reported that Singapore’s research organization, the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, just completed a survey among 1,008 ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) organizations including companies, academic institutes and government branches. The released report shows that around 70 percent of the entities surveyed expressed the belief that their governments, in order to manage the risk of shouldering high debts, should take a very careful and conservative attitude when discussing the One Belt One Road initiative with China. The organizations in Malaysia, The Philippines, and Thailand are especially concerned about this risk. One third of those surveyed complained about the (lack of) transparency of the One Belt One Road plan, and 16 percent predicted the plan will eventually fail. Around half of the people surveyed recognized that China has a more superior regional influence than the U.S. Sixty percent of the sample expressed the belief that the U.S.’ global power has declined in the past year. One third actually thought the U.S. has completely lost its influence in the region.
Source: Lianhe Zaobao. January 7, 2019