Rui Xiaojian, former US ambassador, warned against the dangers of a US-China nuclear war. He discussed the issue during an online talk with the Washington think tank Woodrow Wilson Center.
According to Taiwanese media United Daily News, Mr Xiaojian worked in the US State Department for 45 years.
He served as the US Ambassador to Singapore, China and Indonesia.
Between 1992 to 1995, Mr Xiaojian served as the US ambassador to Beijing.
The former official highlighted how the consequences of a full-scale military conflict between the US and China are “as unimaginable as the conflict between the US and the Soviet Union that year”, Taiwanese media reported.
He said this is because an all-out conflict would lead to “mutual destruction”.
Mr Xiaojian added how America learned to avoid nuclear confrontation during the Cold War.
But he added how the lessons from the Cold War have now been forgotten.
He predicted that Washington and Beijing will have military confrontation over disputes involving Taiwan.
China has claimed sovereignty over the whole of Taiwan, a democracy of around 24 million people.
The two nations have been governed separately for over seven decades.
However, Beijing has claimed ownership of Taiwan under its “One China” policy which demands there is only one sovereign state under the name China.
In January, China threatened to take Taiwan by force warning “independence means war”.
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Beijing’s war threat came after Taiwan reported a “large incursion” by Chinese warplanes for two days in a row.
China claimed its military forces were acting in response to provocation and foreign interference.
Chinese Defence Ministry spokesman Wu Qian said at a press briefing that Taiwan was an inseparable part of China.
He said: “The military activities carried out by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army in the Taiwan Strait are necessary actions to address the current security situation in the Taiwan Strait and to safeguard national sovereignty and security.”
On Thursday, a US warship sailed through the Taiwan Strait in its first voyage since President Joe Biden took office.
America has often sent US warships to conduct navigation exercises in the strait which has angered China.
Beijing views any ships travelling through the strait as a breach of its sovereignty.
However, the US and many other nations see the route as international waters open to all.
The American Seventh Fleet said voyage by the USS John S. McCain on Thursday “demonstrates the US commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific”.