President Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan made matters worse (ex-Singapore diplomat)

There are “smarter ways” to support Taiwan than for US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi having visited the island, former permanent secretary of Singapore’s foreign ministry, Bilahari Kausikan, told CNBC.

The move could undermine U.S. and other countries’ efforts to support Taiwan in the future. and further complicated Taiwan’s political relations with Chinahe told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” on Friday.

“I think Taiwan needs support and deserves support, but did it achieve anything worthwhile? I don’t think so. In fact, I think it made things worse,” said Kausikan.

Ignoring weeks of warnings from Beijing, Pelosi traveled to Taiwan and met with President Tsai Ing-wen on Wednesday. Taiwan is a self-governing democracy, but Beijing considers the island a breakaway province and says it has no right to conduct foreign relations.

Pelosi’s visit makes her the highest-ranking US official to visit Taiwan in 25 years.

China has launched military exercises in the airspace and waters around Taiwan the following day. On Friday, Beijing announced sanctions against Pelosi and members of his immediate family, although the content of those sanctions was not specified.

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), left, poses for photos with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, right, at the president’s office on August 03, 2022 in Taipei, Taiwan.

Documents | Getty Images

“What Taiwan needs is certain capabilities… what Taiwan needs is diplomatic support. What Taiwan doesn’t need is a visit, which can give you a moment well-being…and after that may deter other countries from visiting Taiwan, if they look at China’s vigorous response,” Kausikan said.

Whether the visit was good or bad for Taiwan remains “at least an open question”, he said. “There are many other ways, smarter ways, less risky ways to give Taiwan the support it needs and deserves.”

Kausikan said the visit could upend the status quo in the region and it prompted China to react in a “semi-hysterical” manner, adding that it “gave China an excuse” to fire missiles near the area. Taiwan.

You have an increasingly feverish and turbulent relationship between the two countries. He simply removes a match to light a flame, which then ignites more or less.

Kevin Rudd

Former Australian Prime Minister

Still, the ex-diplomat maintained that a conflict between China and Taiwan is unlikely.

China is not eager to attack Taiwan and a broad military consensus has suggested that China does not yet have the capability to launch a full-scale “amphibious” military operation, he said.

“And don’t forget, despite all the bluster that China put out before – during and after the visit – it still failed to deter the visit,” Kausikan said.

But accidents do happen and they have in the past, he added.

Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said it’s the potential accidents that are of most concern.

Although an immediate war is not likely, Rudd fears the Chinese will see Pelosi’s visit as a rollback by the United States from its 1982 agreement to recognize the “one China policy”.

“So I think we’re in a whole new world,” he said on CNBC’s “Capital Connection.”

“You have an increasingly feverish and turbulent relationship between the two countries,” he said. “He simply removes a match to light a flame, which then ignites more or less.”

“That’s what worries me – not tomorrow, not next month, but certainly in the years to come, especially as [Chinese President] Xi Jinping is likely to be re-elected or reappointed.”

Full-scale war, however, cannot be completely ruled out, especially when US-China relations are unlikely to recover in the next decade, Rudd said.

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