Relations between the United States and China have been increasingly tense following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.
China has been threatening military retaliation amid the increased tension, and Singapore has since stepped in and urged both countries to exercise self-restraint.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan appealed to both sides to avoid any actions that will raise the tensions any further, as Singapore and its neighbours might end up in the crossfire.
Dr Balakrishnan was attending the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers meeting and speaking from Phnom Peng, and noted that ASEAN is scrutinizing the Taiwan-China events and keeping tabs on the situation.
He said in a Facebook statement, that “ASEAN is also watching cross-strait developments with concern. Stable US-China relations are vital for regional peace and prosperity.”
He added that “Singapore hopes that the US and China can work out a modus vivendi, exercise self-restraint and refrain from actions that will further escalate tensions.”
Vivian Balakrishnan’s Facebook statement
Intensive discussions at the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting today.
Prime Minister Hun Sen shared insightful views on pressing geopolitical developments with the ASEAN Foreign Ministers.
Discussed key issues with my counterparts, including the dire situation in Myanmar and the lack of progress on the implementation of the Five-Point Consensus. The recent execution of four opposition activists was a grave setback for ASEAN’s efforts to facilitate a peaceful resolution and national reconciliation in Myanmar. It reflects the Myanmar military authorities’ clear disrespect for ASEAN.
But our work must go on. We cannot allow ourselves to be held hostage, or let our current difficulties undermine ASEAN’s centrality and unity.
ASEAN is also watching cross-strait developments with concern. Stable US-China relations are vital for regional peace and prosperity. Singapore hopes that the US and China can work out a modus vivendi, exercise self-restraint and refrain from actions that will further escalate tensions.
China’s military exercises around Taiwan
China has also announced upcoming military exercises around Taiwan which started yesterday (4 August), involving exercises that include land and air combat training, sea assault, and a joint blockade.
The Global Times also reported that missiles would fly over Taiwan for the first time during the exercises.