PETALING JAYA: Director of Universiti Malaya Institute of China Studies Dr. Ngeow Chow-Bing said China’s decision to stop its export of natural sand to Taiwan could affect the supply of chips if the latter fails to secure alternative sources of sand.
He told Sin Chew Daily the tension between China and Taiwan is expected to last for several days after the visit of the United States House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, although major military conflict is unlikely.
Any economic sanction imposed by China on Taiwan could affect Malaysia, he said.
“Although it is believed that China will not attack Taiwan, the instability is bound to impact investor confidence in the region.”
Ngeow said China would hold military drills over the next couple of days as an expression of anger and that the tension should ease after that.
“Some fear that Pelosi’s visit could spark a war. That’s just their over-interpretation of the incident.
“China is expected to come up with more sanctions against Taiwan next.”
Ngeow nevertheless cautioned that Pelosi’s visit to show her support for Taiwan could further strangle Taiwan’s already very limited international space, and Southeast Asian countries may be more cautious when dealing with Taiwan in future in order not to infuriate China.
“Southeast Asian countries can voice up through the Asean platform to try to ease the tension in East Asia.”
He concluded that Southeast Asian countries are all yearning for regional peace and stability so that they can grow their economies and tackle the harsh reality of inflation.
Meanwhile, Head of Universiti Malaya Department of International and Strategic Studies Khoo Ying Hooi told Sin Chew Daily the United States is now actively rolling out its Indo-Pacific strategy to boost its influence in the region in response to the rise of China’s influence.
She expected Malaysia to remain consistent in its non-aligned stance.
“Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan is a message from Washington to Beijing related to the Sino-American trade war as well as their divergent ideologies, pushing their confrontation to a new high.”