(Central News Agency, Singapore, comprehensive foreign news report on the 8th) Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said today that China is not “impulsive and belligerent” in taking over Taiwan, downplaying the possibility of an imminent conflict in the Taiwan Strait.
Lee Hsien Loong said at the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Singapore today that China “wants Taiwan to be part of ‘One China'” but is not yet sure how to achieve it; unless Beijing is provoked, the world ” You’re not going to wake up one day and find out they’ve decided to launch Operation D-Day.”
Lee Hsien Loong’s remarks today showed some optimism regarding Taiwan, a major issue that has caused tension between the United States and China.
U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping are expected to meet in California next week, which will be their first meeting in about a year. Lee Hsien Loong said that such talks are a positive development, but they will not solve all the challenges in the relationship between the two major economies of the United States and China.
“You need meetings to move in the right direction, but you don’t expect a meeting to make everything go smoothly,” he told Bloomberg News editor-in-chief John Micklethwait.
In recent years, U.S.-China relations have deteriorated over a number of issues, including Taiwan, human rights, access to advanced technology, etc. Southeast Asian countries are increasingly worried about possible conflicts. The leaders also called on the United States and China not to let competition undermine important supply chains and regional stability.
Regarding another regional dispute hotspot, the South China Sea, Lee Hsien Loong said that Southeast Asian countries seek to adjust each other’s responses to Beijing’s claims of sovereignty over the South China Sea.
Recently, Chinese ships collided with Philippine ships twice near the Philippine military outpost in the Second Thomas Shoal, raising tensions in the South China Sea. China later accused the United States, an ally of the Philippines, of encouraging other countries to engage in provocations in the South China Sea.
Vietnam, Brunei, and Malaysia also claim sovereignty over parts of the South China Sea.
Lee Hsien Loong said: “Four Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries claim sovereignty over the South China Sea. They all hope to find some kind of agreement between themselves and China, but at the same time, they all have other interests with China.”
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The topics that Lee Hsien Loong touched during the interview also included: the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, the risk of terrorism in Southeast Asia, the development of artificial intelligence (AI), Singapore’s tax policy, etc.
Regarding the conflict between Israel and Kazakhstan, Lee Hsien Loong condemned Hamas’s attack on Israel on October 7 and the civilian casualties in the following month. He also mentioned that in order to ensure peace between Israel and Palestine, there is no alternative to the “two-state solution”. Otherwise, there may be endless conflicts. (Translator: Yang Zhaoyan) 1121109