Lawrence Wong, Singapore’s deputy prime minister, warned on Monday (Aug. 15) that the United States and China could accidentally escalate their tensions into a full-scale war as a result of their recent actions.
After US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan earlier this month, Mr. Wong discussed US-China relations in an interview with Bloomberg News editor-in-chief John Micklethwait.
Chinese retaliation for her visit included military drills near Taiwan and restrictions on trade.
After being asked about the likelihood of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, Mr. Wong responded that it is “impossible to say,” especially as the situation becomes increasingly ambiguous.
Despite the lack of formal diplomatic ties between the two countries, the United States is legally required to give Taiwan with military assistance.
Is Taiwan Part of China?
China’s capital, Beijing, has repeatedly said that Taiwan is an integral component of the greater Chinese mainland.
It adheres to what it calls the “One-China concept,” which holds that the PRC is the only legitimate Chinese government, and it wants Taiwan to be “unified” with the mainland.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the Kuomintang (KMT) party that ruled Taiwan at the time forged an agreement in 1992 known as the “Consensus,” which Beijing believes binds Taiwan.
This so-called consensus, however, is contested by both parties and was never meant to settle the issue of Taiwan’s legal standing.
According to Chinese President Xi Jinping, “the two sides of the strait belong to one China and will work together to accomplish national reunification” was one of the main points of the 1992 Consensus.
KMT members see the ROC as the “one China” in this context, hence the phrase has a double meaning for them.
The California Democrat kicked off her multi-city Asian tour in Singapore on the first day of the trip. According to her office, she will also be travelling to Malaysia, South Korea, and Japan on this trip.
Though neither the statement nor Pelosi’s public itinerary include Taiwan, CNN reported on Monday that a senior Taiwanese government official.
And a US official said that Pelosi is anticipated to visit Taiwan and stay overnight as part of her trip of Asia. As of right now, Pelosi’s arrival time in Taipei is a mystery.