SINGAPORE: The United States and China are on a “very dangerous collision course” that could have serious repercussions for the rest of the world, the eminent American economist Jeffrey Sachs said on Monday (February 13th).
It comes in the middle claims and counterclaims of the two world powers on high-altitude balloon flight over each other’s airspace.
“Take Ukraine as a wake-up call. The same thing could happen in Asia, it would be devastating for the world,” Dr. Sachs, director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, told CNA’s Asia Now.
“We need China and the United States to talk to each other, to negotiate with each other, to dialogue with each other. This is not happening right now.
FORCING COUNTRIES TO CHOOSE SIDE
Geopolitical disputes between major powers could force uninvolved parties to choose sides, leading to strained relations, Dr Sachs said, urging countries, including those in the Association of South Asian Nations -East (ASEAN), to intensify their efforts.
“So I hope ASEAN as a group can say to the United States and say to China, ‘Don’t force us to choose. If we have to choose, we want decent relations with both parties. We don’t want to choose,” Dr Sachs said on the sidelines of the World Government Summit in Dubai.
The summit brings together thought leaders, global experts and policy makers from around the world to share and develop policies that are key to shaping future governments.
“The rest of the world needs to say very clearly that they don’t want to be drawn into fights, or better yet, stop fights, because two major powers should be able to cooperate with each other and avoid conflict,” says Dr Sachs.
He believes such an approach could even end the war in Ukraine, adding that major powers outside the conflict can step in and call for its end.