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Lawrence Wong was sworn in on May 15 as Singapore’s fourth prime minister, succeeding Lee Hsien Loong, the son of Lee Kuan Yew, the first Prime Minister of Singapore, who served from 1959 to 1990. Lee Hsien Loong stepped down after leading Singapore for two decades. Wong is expected to continue to uphold the city-state’s neutral and balanced foreign policy in navigating the China-U.S. competition in the Asia Pacific region.

Prime Minister Wong, 51, will retain his current position as finance minister.

China has been Singapore’s largest trade partner for 11 consecutive years since 2013, and the U.S. is the leading source of foreign direct investment and top services export market for Singapore. Wong was educated in the U.S., at the Universities of Wisconsin and Michigan and at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Wong said in a recent interview with local media that “the unipolar moment for America has ended. While everyone talks about moving into a multipolar world, it has not yet reached a stable equilibrium.” He emphasized that navigating this new global environment will require Singapore “to be more thoughtful, careful, nimble, and to find ways to avoid getting caught up in the geopolitical currents.”

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