Despite the increasing competition between the U.S. and China, it is “unlikely” that a war will break out between the two countries, the ex-chief of the U.N. Security Council said.
What Happened: Kishore Mahbubani, former president of the U.N. Security Council, during a Singapore Chamber of Commerce forum held on Friday, expressed his opinion that a potential conflict between the two nuclear powers — Washington and Beijing — would only be a lose-lose situation for both.
“The good news is that war is very unlikely between the U.S. and China…Both will lose in a nuclear war. Millions will die,” he said, according to SCMP.
“The one thing that the United States and China agree on is that there should be no nuclear war. Even in the Ukraine war, there’s an understanding that nuclear weapons will not be used.”
The retired Singaporean top diplomat said China would only go to war if Taiwan declared independence, but the people of the self-governed island would be wise to avoid that.
Why It Matters: The relationship between the Joe BIden administration and Xi Jinping‘s government has been strained in recent years due to trade disputes, human rights concerns, and tensions over Taiwan and the South China Sea. However, both countries have expressed their desire to avoid military confrontation and seek a peaceful resolution through diplomatic channels.
As per recent reports, President Biden‘s administration is pushing for a series of meetings and phone calls to make it harder for Beijing to refuse engagement. The U.S. strategy aims to ease tensions with China and label President Xi as a recalcitrant if he declines.