'Need to avoid miscalculation and accidents': Vivian Balakrishnan on developments in the Taiwan Strait
SINGAPORE: Given the recent developments in the Taiwan Strait, Singapore's Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan has emphasised the need to avoid miscalculation and accidents, which could lead to an “escalatory spiral and destabilise the region”.
Dr Balakrishnan met China's State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on the sidelines of the 55th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on Thursday (Aug 4).
They exchanged views on the regional and international situation, including recent developments in the Taiwan Strait, Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said in a statement.
“Singapore has a clear and consistent ‘One China’ policy and is opposed to Taiwan independence and any unilateral moves to change the status quo,” MFA said.
"Minister Balakrishnan hoped that the US and China will work out a modus vivendi and stressed the need for stable US-China relations, which are vital for peace and security," the ministry added.
A modus vivendi refers to an arrangement or agreement allowing conflicting parties to coexist peacefully, either indefinitely or until a final settlement is reached.
On Thursday, China fired ballistic missiles and deployed fighter jets and warships as it began its largest military exercises around Taiwan.
This came after US Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to the island, during which she met with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen. Her visit was condemned by China.
STRONG TIES BETWEEN SINGAPORE, CHINA
During their meeting on Thursday, Dr Balakrishnan and Mr Wang reaffirmed the strong ties between Singapore and China.
They discussed the importance of intensifying bilateral high-level exchanges, including earlier visits to Singapore by State Councilor and Minister of National Defense General Wei Fenghe and Minister of the International Department of the Communist Party of China Liu Jianchao, MFA said.
"They looked forward to the full restoration of air connectivity, and the resumption of student, tourist, and business exchanges when conditions permit," the ministry added.
Dr Balakrishnan also attended the ASEAN-US post-ministerial conference.
"We continued our discussions initiated at the ASEAN-US Special Summit in May," said Foreign Affairs Minister.
"We welcomed the US’ efforts to remain engaged, and continue playing a constructive role for the peace, prosperity and development of our region. We aim to enhance cooperation in immediate post-pandemic recovery and build a sustainable and climate-resilient future."
He added that he was looking forward to upgrading ASEAN-US relations to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership later this year.