When asked about his assessment of tensions on both sides, Balakrishnan said that the US and China are not looking for conflict, but for political reasons both sides have had to take a stance.
Dr Balakrishnan stated that everyone has a stake in the global integrated economic system and that they need to compete, maybe confront but we all have skin in this game and we do want America and China to get along.
This is a dangerous moment for the whole world, and I have to tell all Singaporeans that they are not looking for conflict. On Friday, Balakrishnan met US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the sidelines of the ASEAN meeting.
According to a press statement by Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Balakrishnan spoke about regional and global issues, including US-China relations and recent developments in the Taiwan Strait, and stressed the need to avoid miscalculation and accidents, which could cause an escalatory spiral and destabilise the region.
MFA said that he encouraged greater engagement by senior leadership and dialogue by all sides to build strategic trust.
Balakrishnan said the situation in Myanmar is very dire and expressed concern that the country is sliding into civil war.
There has been no progress on our five-point consensus. The timing of the recent executions or even the earlier bombing so soon after Prime Minister Hun Sen visits Myanmar reflects a high level of cynicism or even outright disrespect for the role of ASEAN, he said.
He said that it is a very dire situation and that we can't interfere but if we don't see that there is value in dialogue, national reconciliation and making use of ASEAN s good officers.
I have heard estimates between four years and 20 years. I don't know but I am pessimistic. In a joint statement released on Friday, ASEAN ministers said they were deeply disappointed by the lack of commitment by the Myanmar military authorities in implementing the five point peace plan.
The statement said that we extensively discussed the recent developments in Myanmar and expressed our concerns over the prolonged political crisis, including the execution of four opposition activists.