A continued lack of strategic trust between the US and China could create an “escalatory spiral” that leads to a potential mishap between the two nations at a time when tensions are flaring over Taiwan , according to Singapore’s foreign minister. “The key missing ingredient in this relationship, from the perspective of a dispassionate third country, is that there is a lack of strategic trust between the United States and China,” Vivian Balakrishnan said on Friday in New York at an event hosted by the Asia Society, according to prepared remarks. “I think the ultimate focal point for this is the Taiwan Strait, which is the reddest of red lines for Beijing.” Balakrishnan said he’s observed on four separate trips to China in the past year that “attitudes have become more assertive” there, with a strong and growing nationalism and more “muscular” actions to defend international interests. Singapore’s Tharman: US should give China a bigger role in multilateral system “As China’s strategic and economic influence has grown, so has their sense of vulnerability,” given that Communist regimes must respond to “the anxieties and the zeitgeist of their own societies,” he said. Meanwhile, Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with his Chinese counterpart on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, focusing the conversation on rising tension over Taiwan, a senior Biden administration official said. Blinken’s meeting with Foreign Minister Wang Yi at China’s UN mission in New York lasted nearly 90 minutes and was their first since the G20 foreign ministers meeting in Bali in July. Taiwan was the focus of the meeting, said the official, who characterised it as a direct, candid and in-depth conversation. Blinken reiterated a warning to China not to provide material support to Russia as it wages war in Ukraine , the official said. US President Joe Biden recently said he would commit military forces in the event of an “unprecedented attack” by China. In remarks on Thursday, Wang compared the push for Taiwanese independence to a charging rhinoceros that had to be “resolutely” stopped in its tracks, and blamed the US for making matters worse. Wang also said Taiwan legislation currently under consideration by US lawmakers threatens the foundation of Washington-Beijing ties.