Singapore PM criticizes U.S. `game of chicken'
October 8, 2013 -- Updated 0359 GMT (1159 HKT)
- Singapore prime minister criticizes U.S. shutdown as a "game of chicken"
- Prime Minister Lee fears the squabble could have long-term impact for world's largest economy
- The economic fate of the city-state is closely linked with the health of the U.S. economy
- U.S. President Obama canceled his visit to the 21-nation APEC summit over the shutdown
(CNN) -- Singapore's prime minister openly criticized the United States over the government shutdown and ongoing deadlock over the debt ceiling, calling them "problems you have created for yourself in a game of chicken."
In an interview with CNN's Patricia Wu on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said Americans "are unable to get their act together," and that Washington's behavior sends a "negative signal which will last much longer that the shutdown."
The government shutdown led U.S. President Barack Obama to cancel his attendance at the APEC Leaders' summit just days before he was meant to arrive. The summit finishes today in Bali, Indonesia. Aside from Taiwan, Obama is the only leader missing among the 21 economies of the APEC group, which together account for half the world's output, 45% of its trade and 3 billion of its inhabitants.
READ MORE: Obama APEC absence boon for Xi, Putin
U.S. shutdown and APEC
General Electric talks long-term growth
The U.S. government is also facing an October 17 deadline to raise its debt ceiling or risk a possible default.
Prime Minister Lee said he was more worried about the long-term message the U.S. was sending than the prospect of a direct hit to U.S. growth.
FORTUNE: Debt ceiling scenarios freaking out traders
Asked if the U.S. would benefit from a system like Singapore's -- where government ministers are paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in salaries -- Lee said he believes his country runs a clean system in which officials are paid "what their job is worth."
He criticized the conflicts of interest that result from the "revolving door" between the United States government and the private sector. Lee is paid more than $1 million to serve as Singapore's prime minister.
Singapore is heavily dependent on exports and trade, so the fate of the city-state is closely linked with the health of the U.S. economy. Both Singapore's property and stock markets have boomed over the last few years as investors flooded in seeking higher returns thanks to loose liquidity from the U.S. Federal Reserve and China.
The prime minister said he is comfortable with Singapore's footing as the United Stated considers turning off the flow of easy money.
"The emerging economies, many of them are concerned. They didn't want the money to slosh in. They are afraid when the money sloshes out, but the tapering has to take place and we have to be able to manage it," Lee said.
CNNMoney: Fed taper won't cause another financial crisis in Asia
He also expressed concern over the stiffening tone in territorial disputes between Asia's power players, including Japan and China.
"It is very hard for any government to give up what it has claimed, because it will lose face and standing and domestic support, so you can only manage these issues, you cannot solve them," Lee said.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
November 27, 2014 -- Updated 1521 GMT (2321 HKT)
The first human trial of an experimental Ebola vaccine has produced promising results, U.S. scientists said.
November 27, 2014 -- Updated 1415 GMT (2215 HKT)
Darren Wilson, the police officer who fatally shot unarmed black teen in August abandoned home after address made public.
November 25, 2014 -- Updated 2236 GMT (0636 HKT)
HBO -- backing a documentary based on "Going Clear," a book about Scientology and Hollywood -- isn't taking any chances with legal side.
November 26, 2014 -- Updated 1935 GMT (0335 HKT)
Grandmaster Nguyen Van Chieu has devoted his adult life to spreading the word about Vietnames martial art, Vovinam.
November 27, 2014 -- Updated 1136 GMT (1936 HKT)
England cricketer Nick Compton shares insight into "drive and courage" it takes to face fears as top batsman.
November 27, 2014 -- Updated 0059 GMT (0859 HKT)
Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson says he was just doing his "job right" when he shot and killed black teenager Michael Brown.
November 24, 2014 -- Updated 0118 GMT (0918 HKT)
Stunning stations where your first priority won't be finding the nearest exit.
November 25, 2014 -- Updated 2318 GMT (0718 HKT)
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says women's "nature is different," sparking fury.
November 24, 2014 -- Updated 1043 GMT (1843 HKT)
A 30-year-old woman has been charged with attempting to kill a baby police say spent five days down a drain before being discovered by cyclists.
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 0121 GMT (0921 HKT)
If it wasn't for a comic's skit, Bill Cosby would still be America's favorite father, says expert.
November 24, 2014 -- Updated 0051 GMT (0851 HKT)
Where do hip young things hang out in Taiwan?
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 1550 GMT (2350 HKT)
Obama orders the most sweeping overhaul of U.S. immigration in decades, prioritizing the deportation of "felons, not families."
November 18, 2014 -- Updated 2106 GMT (0506 HKT)
Fighters loyal to ISIS are now in control of Derna, a city on Libya's Mediterranean coast.
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 2319 GMT (0719 HKT)
China and likely other countries have the capacity to shut down the U.S. power grid, says the NSA.
November 19, 2014 -- Updated 1945 GMT (0345 HKT)
The founder of a U.S. nonprofit that works with returning soldiers is named CNN's Hero of the Year.
November 27, 2014 -- Updated 1703 GMT (0103 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.