Singapore PM warns US against taking a hard line on China – .

Singapore PM warns US against taking a hard line on China – .

Washington (AFP)

Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Tuesday warned the United States against an aggressive challenge to China, saying Washington’s increasingly harsh views could be “very dangerous.”

He said the United States had moved from a healthy competitive approach with China to the idea that America “has to win somehow.”

“There is today a bipartisan (American) consensus on one thing, namely relations with China,” he told the Aspen Security Forum.

“But their position is to take a hard line. And I’m not sure that’s the right consensus, ”said the Singaporean leader.

“I don’t know if the Americans realize what a formidable adversary they would face if they decided that China is an enemy.

“In this situation I would say to both of them, take a break, think hard before moving quickly, it’s very dangerous,” he said.

“It is vital that the United States and China strive to engage to avoid a confrontation, which would be disastrous for both sides and for the world. “

Lee, who is seen as someone who has insight into the leadership of the two countries, said Washington’s harsh views on China are increasingly offset by China’s belief that states cannot be trusted. -United and wants to block its emergence.

He criticized the Biden administration’s display of tenacity during its first high-level bilateral meeting with the Chinese in Anchorage, Alaska, in March.

“The reality is that neither side can bring down the other,” he said.

But Lee applauded the Biden administration’s return to a “more conventional” foreign policy after the disruptive approach of his predecessor Donald Trump.

“Countries are looking for long-term strategic coherence from the United States,” he said, and a “reliable and predictable” policy.

He said Taiwan is a particular potential flashpoint.

“I don’t think they want to take a one-sided move” like invading Taiwan, he said of Beijing.

“But I think there is a danger, and the danger is a miscalculation of mass. “

He expressed appreciation for US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s comments in Singapore last week, warning of any change in the status quo of the situation in Taiwan.

“I believe that if this cautious position is clearly and consistently maintained, then we will be able to maintain peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” Lee said.

In any case, he added, “you are in a rather difficult period”.


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