Bali, Indonesia — Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has openly criticized the United States over its government shutdown and continuing deadlock over the debt ceiling, referring to them as “problems you have created for yourself in a game of chicken.”
Prime Minister Lee made the comments in an interview with CNN’s Patricia Wu during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Bali, Indonesia, according to reports.
He also said Americans “are unable to get their act together,” and that the U.S. government’s behavior sends a “negative signal which will last much longer than the shutdown.”
U.S. President Obama cancelled his attendance at the APEC summit because of the shutdown, and except for Taiwan, he is the only leader absent of the 21 economies of the APEC group.
Mr. Lee said he was more concerned about the long-term message the U.S. was sending than with an immediate hit on its economy. Because Singapore depends heavily on exports and trade, its fate is closely linked to the health of the U.S. economy.
He also criticized the conflicts of interest that result from the “revolving door” between the U.S. government and the private sector. He said Singapore runs a clean system where officials are paid “what their job is worth.”
Mr. Lee also expressed concern over the hardening of positions on territorial disputes between Japan and China.