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Interview

ASEAN's Ukraine split shows desire for space between powers: envoy

Singapore's Chan Heng Chee says neither West nor China should take others for granted

The Singapore Foreign Ministry's ambassador-at-large says countries are increasingly taking an issue-by-issue approach to diplomacy, rather than simply aligning themselves with one big power or another.   © Reuters

SINGAPORE -- The divided response by members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to Russia's invasion of Ukraine shows they are seeking a "third space" in diplomacy as they strive to avoid taking sides in the competition among big powers, according to one of Singapore's most prominent diplomats.

Professor Chan Heng Chee, ambassador-at-large for the city-state's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told Nikkei Asia in an interview that countries are increasingly adopting limited positions on specific key issues, guided by national interests.

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