•Fences (literal): freestanding structural markers that serve to enclose areas •Fences (metaphorical): barriers to keep nations from infringing on each other’s space or meddling into each other’s affairs, so that an appropriate level of freedom is maintained •Good fences: a meaningful barriers, be it physical or metaphorical, that are for the greater good •Good neighbours: pleasant and agreeable
“Good fences make good neighbours”: Countries that erect meaningful barriers maintain favourable relationships with their neighbours.
Disagree. Good fences do not make good neighbours.
Counter-Arguments (Good fences make good neighbours)
1. Good fences prevent neighbouring countries from excessive meddling into each other’s affairs, which might otherwise lead to soured relationships.
E.g. In 2004 when Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong went to Taiwan for a 3 day visit, China was unhappy, but did not interfere excessively, and thus now, Singapore still maintains warm relations with China.
E.g. Although China is against North Korea’s nuclear ambition, it has not used its considerable leverage to pressure North Korean into abolishing its nuclear programmes, unlike Japan and the USA. Hence, it remains an ally of North Korea.
2. Good fences make good neighbours as there are still gaps in a fence for communication, as opposed to a wall in which there is total isolation.
E.g. The Berlin Wall separated West Berlin and East Germany for 28 years to stop the drainage of labour and economic output associated with the daily migration of huge numbers of professionals and skilled workers between East and West Berlin. The Wall blocked out communication between both sides, thus hindering both sides from settling their differences earlier to benefit the people of Berlin.
Arguments (Good fences do not make good neighbours)
1. Good fences may be beneficial and meaningful for one country, but not advantageous for the other...