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History of the U.S. and Singapore
April 4, 2021


Informal relations between the United States and Singapore began when U.S. merchants engaged in the China trade began to visit the port on their way to and from China. As Singapore became one of the most important ports in the region, U.S.-Singaporean interaction increased through the 19th and 20th centuries.


U.S. Recognition of Singapore, 1965.

On August 11, 1965, the United States recognized the newly independent and sovereign state of Singapore in a letter from Secretary of State Dean Rusk to Singaporean Foreign Minister Sinnathamby Raja Ratnam. Singapore previously had been under the sovereignty of the British Empire since the early 19th century. After gaining its independence from the British Empire in 1963, Singapore briefly joined the Federation of Malaysia, before breaking away for independent sovereignty in 1965.

Consular Presence

Establishment of Consular Relations, 1836.

The United States established a Consulate in Singapore when it appointed Joseph Balestier to the post on July 4, 1836.

Diplomatic Relations

Establishment of Diplomatic Relations and the American Embassy in Singapore, 1966.

Diplomatic relations and the U.S. Embassy were established on April 4, 1966, when the United States opened its embassy in Singapore under with Richard H. Donald as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim.