Vivian Balakrishnan encourages all sides to build 'strategic trust' following recent Taiwan Straits developments

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SINGAPORE: Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan on Friday (Aug 5) encouraged all sides to build "strategic trust" following recent developments in the Taiwan Strait.

He was speaking during a meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the sidelines of the 55th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Foreign Ministers' Meeting.

Dr Balakrishnan and Mr Blinken discussed regional and global issues, including US-China relations and recent developments in the Taiwan Strait, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in a press statement. 

"Minister Balakrishnan emphasised the need to avoid miscalculation and accidents, which could lead to an escalatory spiral and destabilise the region," added the ministry. 

On Thursday, China fired ballistic missiles and deployed fighter jets and warships as it began its largest military exercises around Taiwan.

This came after US Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to the island, during which she met with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen. Her visit was condemned by China.

Dr Balakrishnan and Mr Blinken reaffirmed the "excellent and longstanding partnership" between Singapore and the US, said MFA, adding that there is "good momentum" in high-level exchanges, including visits by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to the US and working visits to Singapore by several cabinet secretaries. 

Dr Balakrishnan also invited Mr Blinken to visit Singapore.

"Minister Balakrishnan welcomed the US’ continued and constructive engagement in the region, and looked forward to the early conclusion of an open, inclusive and flexible Indo-Pacific Economic Framework," added MFA. 

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