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December 09
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The continuing lack of strategic trust between the U.S. and China could create an escalation spiral that could lead to a potential clash between the two countries at a time when tensions over Taiwan are escalating, Vivian Balakrishnan, Singapore's foreign minister, said.

"The key missing component of this relationship, from the perspective of an impartial third country, is the lack of strategic trust between the United States and China. I think the end point for this is the Taiwan Strait, which is the reddest of red lines for Beijing."

On four separate trips to China last year, he noticed that "attitudes there have become more assertive," with strong and growing nationalism and more "muscular" actions to protect international interests.

"As China's strategic and economic influence grew, so did its sense of vulnerability, given that communist regimes must respond to the anxieties and zeitgeist of their own societies," he said, adding that there could be no good outcome in Asia if "our countries were forced to split into two camps between them."

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