ASEAN cautions Taiwan of ‘miscalculation’ and offers ready to help dialogue
The regional grouping known as ASEAN in Southeast Asia issued a warning on Thursday (August 4) about the potential for volatility created by tensions in the Taiwan Strait to lead to “miscalculation, significant confrontation, open confrontations, and unpredictable outcomes among key countries.”
A gathering of foreign ministers from 27 countries is currently taking place in Cambodia under the auspices of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. However, the gathering has been overshadowed thus far by developments surrounding Taiwan in the wake of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit this week.
“ASEAN stands ready to play a constructive role in facilitating peaceful dialogue between all parties,” the organization said in a statement, urging maximum restraint and for all sides to refrain from provocation. “ASEAN stands ready to play a constructive role in facilitating peaceful dialogue between all parties,” the statement continued.
China has expressed its displeasure by conducting a surge of military exercises and other activity in the region in response to the visit by Pelosi, which was the most senior-level visit by the United States to self-ruled Taiwan in the past 25 years.
Countries in Southeast Asia typically maintain a cautious balance in their relations with both China and the United States because they are afraid of upsetting either of the region’s two big powers.
According to China’s CCTV, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who is also in Cambodia, described Pelosi’s visit as “manic, irresponsible, and exceedingly unreasonable.” Wang Yi is also in Cambodia.
In his opening remarks to a meeting with ASEAN colleagues, the Secretary of State of the United States of America, Antony Blinken, acknowledged that the Taiwan problem was on everyone’s mind and emphasized that the position of the United States government had not changed.
“The United States continues to have an abiding interest in peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” he stated. “[T]he Taiwan Strait is a strategic waterway for the United States.”
“We are opposed to any efforts made by a single party to change the status quo, especially those that involve the use of force… In addition, I want to stress that there has been no change whatsoever in our viewpoint.”
According to what Blinken indicated, the United States and other countries considered that escalation served no one’s interests and may have unforeseen repercussions that did not serve the interests of anyone, including China and other members of ASEAN.
According to reports published in state-run media in the United States and China, there was never any intention for Wang and Blinken to meet in Cambodia. Blinken had meetings with his counterparts from India, Qatar, and the host country of Cambodia earlier on Thursday.
The Chinese foreign ministry announced that a meeting between Wang and his Japanese counterpart that was scheduled to take place in Cambodia has been called off, citing China’s disagreement with a statement issued by the G7 that encouraged China to address tensions with Taiwan in a peaceful manner.
It was anticipated that the ASEAN discussions would center on the regional group’s faltering diplomatic effort to address the problem in Myanmar, which has been in disarray ever since the military seized control in a coup the previous year.
On Wednesday, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen stated that if Myanmar’s military authorities continued to carry out executions of inmates, ASEAN would be compelled to reassess a peace plan already agreed upon with Myanmar.
ASEAN has become more upset with the junta’s lack of progress, and ASEAN ministers have accused the junta of treating ASEAN’s efforts as if they were nothing more than a joke. The organisation voiced its disapproval of Myanmar’s recent execution of four individuals connected to a movement that was opposed to the country’s military government. This was the first time Myanmar has carried out executions in decades.
In response to the onslaught of worldwide criticism, the junta issued a statement last week justifying the murders by claiming that they were “justice for the people.”
Amanda Milling, the British minister for Asia, issued a statement on Thursday in which she “strongly condemned the recent terrible and inhumane executions” and stated that there was an urgent need for a peaceful solution to the problem in Myanmar.
Although Myanmar is a member of ASEAN, its generals are not allowed to attend meetings of the organization until there is evidence that the ASEAN peace plan is making progress.
The United States of America and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have both stated that they are trying to elevate their relationship to that of a comprehensive strategic partnership.
Blinken stated that Washington’s goal was to strengthen its role in the Quad security conference as well as to work more closely with ASEAN on an economic framework for the Indo-Pacific region.
According to what he had to say, “we’re anxious for your suggestions to further that partnership and collaboration.”