ASEAN warns of ‘miscalculation, unpredictable consequences’ over Taiwan

Phnom Penh, Aug 4 (EFE).- Tensions in the Taiwan Strait could cause “miscalculation, serious confrontation, open conflicts and unpredictable consequences,” the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) warned Thursday.

In a joint statement released during the 10-member bloc’s foreign ministers summit in Phnom Penh, which includes other countries such as China and the United States, ASEAN expressed its concern for “international and regional volatility” after the visit to Taiwan on Wednesday of United States House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and the retaliation of China, although the text did not name these events explicitly.

The joint statement said that “the recent development in the area adjacent with the ASEAN region (…) could destabilize the region and eventually could lead to miscalculation, serious confrontation, open conflicts and unpredictable consequences among major powers,” presumedly referring to China and the US.

ASEAN representatives called for “maximum restraint” and for parties to “refrain from provocative actions” and offered to “play a constructive role in facilitating peaceful dialogue between all parties.”

The Taiwan conflict is expected to be one of the issues addressed during the summit of ASEAN foreign ministers running in Cambodia until Friday.

US foreign affairs chief Antony Blinken is attending, along with China’s Wang Yi, Russia’s Sergei Lavrov and the European Union’s Josep Borrell.

Pelosi, who between Tuesday and Wednesday spent less than 24 hours on an officially unannounced visit to Taiwan, promised during her stay that the US “will not abandon” the island territory, while China took retaliatory measures including sanctions and a military deployment around the island.

Taiwan, with whom the US does not maintain official relations, is one of the main sources of conflict between China and the US, predominantly because Washington is the main supplier of weapons to the island and would be its greatest military ally in case of conflict with the Asian giant.

China insists on “reunification” with the democratic island, for which it has not ruled out the use of force. EFE


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