US, China Will Determine War And Peace, Says Singapore's Ex-Foreign Minister: 'Taiwan Is Only A Piece On The Chessboard'

The future of Taiwan is largely dependent on the dynamics between the U.S. and China, George Yeo, former Foreign Minister of Singapore, said on Sunday.

What Happened: Yeo, in an interview with the South China Morning Post, downplayed the significance of Taiwan’s upcoming presidential election in January. He pointed out that the key actors in the Taiwan issue have been notably measured in their recent actions.

Taiwan’s Vice-President and presidential hopeful, William Lai Ching-te, has recently visited the U.S. and Paraguay. Yeo characterized these trips as “calibrated to be low profile,” as Lai did not engage with any U.S. officials or legislators.

Yeo also highlighted China’s subdued reaction to Lai’s visit, saying, “It was not only his wish, but it was an American requirement, and China's response was equally calibrated.”

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Yeo, also a respected observer of Asian geopolitics, said the Taiwan polls "are important, but whether or not relations between America and China are good or bad depend on America and China; Taiwan is only a piece on the chessboard."

"If the Taiwanese want to be played on that chessboard, then they will offer themselves, and the Americans will decide to play, or not."

“Taiwan by itself will not determine the issue of war and peace; it's America, and its relationship with China,” Yeo remarked.

Why It Matters: The tensions between China and Taiwan have been escalating, with Chinese President Xi Jinping signaling China’s military readiness for a potential assault on Taiwan, as showcased in a recent eight-part documentary series featuring the People’s Liberation Army.

Kyle Bass, founder of U.S. investment firm Hayman Capital Management, warned that Xi‘s determination to “bring war to the West” could potentially lead to an invasion of Taiwan by 2024.

This potential conflict could have significant global implications. Terry Gou, founder of Foxconn, a key supplier for Apple Inc., predicted a Wall Street crash in the event of a China-Taiwan war, stating that it could take as little as “10 seconds” for such a catastrophe to occur.

Taiwan Photo by Andy.LIU Shutterstock

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Posted In: NewsPoliticsGeneralChinaGeorge YeotaiwanUS-China Relations
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