New Partnership Between U.S. & Singapore Institutes Centers Collaboration — not Confrontation — in U.S.-Asia Relations

Russia’s war in Ukraine and China’s rise underline the urgent need for U.S.-Asia collaboration and cooperation on global security issues


CONTACT: Alex Jordan | [email protected]

WASHINGTON, DC — Today the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft and the Asia Research Institute’s Asian Peace Programme at the National University of Singapore announced a new partnership between the American and Singaporean institutions, aimed at identifying and elevating opportunities to advance relations between U.S. and Southeast Asian nations in fostering Asian peace and mutual prosperity.

The partnership will commence this year with a series of joint events featuring scholars from the respective organizations in conversation with diplomats, policymakers, and business and government leaders about the most pressing issues facing relations between the two regions such as China’s rising power, U.S. and Southeast Asian roles in reducing regional tensions, tackling the threat of climate change, and more. Select research and articles will be cross-hosted on each others’ websites in order to expose audiences in both regions to cutting-edge content.

“In Washington, the nuanced perspectives of Southeast Asian states—particularly partners and allies—are often ignored or oversimplified,” said Sarang Shidore, Quincy Institute’s director of studies. “By further strengthening the Quincy Institute’s scholarship in key areas of U.S.-Asia relations from a Restraint standpoint, this partnership will empower our team to provide both U.S. policymakers and the American people with insightful, impactful analysis of one of the most dynamic and geopolitically critical regions of the world.”

The partnership’s first joint event will be a webinar that vets the question of how Southeast Asian countries can best navigate the fraught relationship between the United States and the great powers, especially China–one increasingly dictated by “strategic competition” and the Biden administration’s notion of a global confrontation between “democracies and autocracies.” Asian Peace Programme Director Kishore Mahbubani will join former Indonesian ambassador to the United States Dino Patti Djalal, Asia Society Policy Institute’s Elina Noor, and Quincy Institute’s Sarang Shidore for the discussion on Wednesday, March 16. Media coverage is encouraged; more details and registration information can be found here.

In addition to its major investment and trade ties with the United States, the dynamic region of Southeast Asia is at the frontline of a looming cold war between Washington and Beijing. While China’s rise poses an acute concern to many nations in the region, many also oppose the growing U.S.-China security competition that will likely be highly destabilizing and damaging to them. Southeast Asian states also want to partner with both the United States and China to jointly solve complex global challenges such as climate change and pandemics.

“The 21st century will be the Asian century. Yet it might not be a peaceful century. Many simmering tensions, arising from existing geopolitical fault lines, are brewing,” said eminent Singaporean former diplomat Kishore Mahbubani, who in addition to directing the Asian Peace Programme is also Distinguished Fellow at the Asia Research Institute. “The Asian Peace Programme was established in July 2020 to generate pragmatic and practical ideas to help defuse some existing tensions. It’s a modest effort. Yet, working with the Quincy Institute, which shares similar goals of preserving peace with enhanced American engagement, we hope that we will help to strengthen the drivers of peace in Asia.”

The partnership is the first of its kind for the Quincy Institute, an action-oriented think tank launched in 2019 that seeks to make peace the norm and war the exception in U.S. foreign policy. Each partner organization will pursue, and be responsible for its own mission and activities. The collaboration will enable Quincy to amplify its groundbreaking research and analysis, and to engage perspectives far outside the beltway. 

“This new arrangement will enhance QI’s goal of achieving a better U.S. foreign policy centered on vigorous diplomacy, not endless war,” said Quincy Institute CEO Lora Lumpe. “We are honored to be partnering with Kishore Mahbubani in our first joint venture.”