Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris (not pictured) hold a joint news conference in Singapore, August 23, 2021. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein/Pool/File Photo

SINGAPORE/TAIPEI (REUTERS) — Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Sunday said tensions between the United States and China and the Russia-Ukraine war affects security in the Asia-Pacific.

“We can expect more geopolitical contestation in the Asia-Pacific,” he said, adding that Singapore would try its best to avoid being caught up in the “major power rivalry”.

Worsening U.S-China relations are making it “almost impossible” to work together on pressing global issues like climate change, pandemics, and nuclear proliferation, he said, speaking at the city-state’s national day rally.

Meanwhile, Taiwan and the United States are key security and economic allies in the Indo-Pacific region and democratic allies must stand together, Tsai Ing-wen, president of the self-ruled the island, told a visiting U.S official on Monday.

Her remarks to Eric Holcomb, the governor of the U.S state of Indiana, came on the third of this month’s visits by senior U.S officials, including U.S House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, that have infuriated China, which views Taiwan as its own territory.

China has held war games and military drills near Taiwan since Pelosi’s visit. Taiwan’s government rejects Beijing’s sovereignty claims, saying only that the island’s own people can decide their future.

“Taiwan has been confronted by military threats from China, in and around the Taiwan Strait,” Tsai told Holcomb during the meeting at her office in Taipei.

“At this moment, democratic allies must stand together and boost cooperation across all areas,” she added, in remarks carried live on her social media pages.

Holcomb will meet representatives of Taiwan semiconductor companies on his visit.

“Economic security is an important pillar of national and regional security,” Tsai said. “Taiwan is willing and able to strengthen cooperation with democratic partners in building sustainable supply chains for democracy chips,” she said…. PACNEWS

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