The United States and China could “sleepwalk into conflict” following an escalation in tensions brought on by Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan, according to the next prime minister of Singapore.
Lawrence Wong told Bloomberg that the tense relationship between the two global superpowers was “very worrying.”
China condemned the House Speaker’s visit to Taiwan and launched military drills around the island in retaliation.
“We are starting to see a series of decisions being taken by both countries that will lead us into more and more dangerous territory,” said Wong, who is the city-state’s current deputy prime minister and finance minister.
“As they say, no one deliberately wants to go into battle, but we sleepwalk into conflict,” he added.
Wong, the prime minister-in-waiting, said that the country was concerned about potential future incidents taking place in the South China Sea or Taiwan Straight, highlighting a 2001 incident involving a US spy plane landing on China’s Hainan Island after colliding with a Chinese fighter.
“We worry about these sorts of near-misses and accidents and miscalculations, and we certainly hope that the leadership on both sides can continue to engage one another, especially at the highest level,” he said.
“And that sensible and rational decisions can be made to prevent things from worsening or deteriorating further.”
China is Singapore’s largest trade partner and it allows the US to access its military facilities.
Since Ms Pelosi returned from her trip, a second delegation of members of Congress led by Senator Ed Markey, a Democrat from Connecticut, has traveled to Taiwan.
Joining Markey were Democratic Representatives Alan Lowenthal and John Garamendi of California and Don Beyer of Virginia along with Republican Delegate to American Samoa Aumua Amata.