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US-China Impasse: A Call for Cooperation

Updated: Jun 6, 2023



Prioritising conversation and communication between nations is essential in a world marked by escalating tensions, particularly when it comes to military matters. The recent speech by China's Defence Minister Li Shangfu at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore serves as a sobering reminder of the importance of sincere communication between the US and China, as a conflict between the two superpowers would be a "unbearable disaster" for the entire world.


The importance of communication was emphasised by Li in his speech. Insisting that communication and understanding are the only ways to develop bilateral ties and partnership, he urged the two nations to pinpoint areas of overlap and common interests. His request for de-escalation should be heeded by both sides because it reflects rising worries about the way US-China ties are taking.


Unfortunately, the inability of China to arrange for Li and US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin to meet during the conference shows the impasse in bilateral ties. The US's decision to maintain Li's sanctions, which were put in place in 2018 as a result of his involvement in purchasing Russian military gear, prompted the refusal. This deadlock serves as a harsh reminder of the difficulties in developing cordial ties.


Li emphasised that the so-called "rules-based international order" lacks transparency in terms of rule-setting and whose interests it serves, calling for a more equitable and inclusive international system. He also restated China's unwavering stance on Taiwan and sounded a warning against any moves to separate Taiwan from China.


The US is stepping up its military and diplomatic backing for the island, but the Taiwan issue is still divisive. China has emphasised that it will use any means necessary to defend its national sovereignty and territorial integrity. This circumstance emphasises the significance of deescalating tensions and prioritizing dialogue.


It is impossible to understate the potential repercussions of a military clash. A situation like that would be disastrous for both of these countries and the global community as a whole. Both nations must understand the seriousness of the issue and refocus their efforts on constructive engagement.


Washington and Beijing can cooperate to find points of agreement, settle their issues, and develop confidence. The promotion of regional stability, crisis management, arms control, and other topics should all be covered in this discourse. Establishing efficient communication channels and systems that stop misconceptions and errors from developing into a full-fledged conflict should be the goal.

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