Chubb’s Evan Greenberg urges US to ‘tone down’ Taiwan rhetoric

Insurance coverage veteran Evan Greenberg has referred to as on the US to “tone down rhetoric and symbolism round Taiwan” and give attention to preserving peace and stability within the area, within the newest signal of how deepening geopolitical divisions are worrying company leaders.

Greenberg, who has constructed up New York-listed Chubb to change into one of many world’s largest insurers, devoted a part of his annual letter to shareholders to US-China relations. The chief govt referred to as the tensions over Taiwan “essentially the most proximate danger of battle” for the connection between the 2 superpowers, as Beijing presses its claims over Taipei and Washington encourages the island to strengthen its defences.

“We must always, nevertheless, tone down rhetoric and symbolism round Taiwan,” Greenberg wrote. “Supporting Taiwan as an illustration of opposition to China doesn’t enhance America’s nationwide safety; it simply raises China’s insecurity and feeds its impulses to overreact to Taiwan-related occasions.”

Greenberg is thought for voicing his views on political occasions. In January 2021 he publicly condemned the “demagoguery” of rioters storming the US Capitol.

China and the broader area are an more and more essential marketplace for Chubb. In November, it acquired regulatory approval to extend its possession in Huatai, which has round 19mn prospects in China, from 47 per cent to greater than 80 per cent. Final 12 months, Chubb additionally accomplished an acquisition of New York-listed Cigna’s life and medical health insurance companies throughout six Asia-Pacific markets, together with Taiwan. It spent virtually $7bn between these two transactions.

Greenberg acknowledged the financial problem that China introduced to the US nevertheless it was not, he stated, “predestined to emerge as an enemy or a winner”. “China shouldn’t be 10 ft tall and won’t rise on a linear trajectory,” he stated.

He warned that any efforts from Washington to attempt to “include” China or to hunt the collapse of its ruling Communist celebration could be “self-isolating”, arguing there was an absence of enthusiasm in different international locations for such a transfer. Greenberg additionally criticised Beijing for “overplaying the function of the state within the economic system”.

He wrote: “From a historic perspective, no nation has delivered sustained development for lengthy by changing the judgment of markets with that of the state, as China more and more is doing . . . Soothing phrases is not going to restore non-public sector overseas and home enterprise confidence and encourage funding.”

In a usually wide-ranging letter, Greenberg additionally addressed the danger setting going through insurers, which he stated was rising “extra threatening and difficult to navigate” as the price of claims was being pushed up by three main components: inflation, larger legal responsibility prices and local weather change results.

He stated the price of casualty insurance coverage, a broad spectrum of insurance policies masking all the things from automotive accidents to medical malpractice, would “must rise at an accelerated fee or else the trade will fail to maintain tempo”.

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