Singapore’s next PM Wong warns US, China may ‘sleepwalk Into conflict’
Singapore has been one of the most vocal countries in Asia calling for the US and China to avoid a destructive clash. (PHOTO: Ore Huiying/Bloomberg)
By Philip J. Heijmans and Niluksi Koswanage
(Bloomberg) — Singapore’s prime minister-in-waiting Lawrence Wong warned that the US and China may “sleepwalk into conflict” if they don’t engage with each other and deescalate rising tensions over Taiwan.
In an interview on Monday with Bloomberg Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait, Wong said the relationship between the world’s biggest economies was on a “very worrying” trajectory in the wake of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan and China’s subsequent military drills around the island.
“We are starting to see a series of decisions being taken by both countries that will lead us into more and more dangerous territory,” Wong, now serving as deputy prime minister and finance minister, said at the Finance Ministry office overlooking the central business district.
“As they say, no one deliberately wants to go into battle, but we sleepwalk into conflict,” he added. “And that’s the biggest problem and danger.”
Wong expressed concern about a potential accident in the Taiwan Strait or South China Sea, citing a 2001 incident when an American spy plane made an emergency landing on China’s southern Hainan Island after colliding with a Chinese jet. Beijing eventually released the crew after the US expressed regret.……
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