William Burns thinks Beijing learns as many lessons as possible to learn Taiwan
Chinese President Xi Jinping is “fidgety” by the West’s response to the Russian military operation in Ukraine, and is looking for “careful with which classes [he] should sign” and apply to a possible invasion of Taiwan, CIA Director William Burns told a conference on Saturday.
Speaking at a Financial Times conference in Washington DC on Saturday, Burns told his audience that his agency believes Russia’s advance through eastern Ukraine and the scale of the West’s response could influence Beijing’s plans for Taiwan.
“We notice. † † that Xi Jinping is a little concerned about the reputational damage China could incur from its association with the brutality of Russian aggression against Ukrainians [and] alarmed, especially by the economic uncertainty caused by the war”, Brands claimed.
The spy chief added that China is surprised by: “the fact that what Putin has done is driving Europeans and Americans closer together” and is looking “carefully which lessons they should learn” for a possible takeover of Taiwan.
While US pundits and politicians — and leaders in Taipei and the wider East Asian region — have repeatedly warned that Russia’s offensive against Ukraine “encourage” China to make a move on Taiwan, that has not happened. Although Beijing maintains that Taiwan is its territory, no signs of an imminent invasion or attack on the island have emerged.
However, the Taiwanese military has been holding military exercises in recent months and the US government has urged Taipei to order US weapons intended to repel an invasion of China by sea. Beijing, meanwhile, has reportedly been repeatedly invaded the island’s air defense zone, with the most recent raid on Friday involving nuclear bombers, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense said.
“I don’t think for a moment” [the Ukraine conflict has] eroded Xi’s determination over time to take control of Taiwan,” The burns continued on Saturday. However, he claimed that the events in Ukraine are certain “affect their calculation.”
China has resisted Western calls to denounce and punish Russia for the war in Ukraine, and has cited NATO’s post-Cold War expansion into Eastern Europe as a key factor behind the conflict. Beijing has also condemned what it sees as US-led efforts to build anti-Chinese alliances, such as the ‘AUKUS’ (US, UK and Australia) and ‘Quad’ (US, Australia, India and Japan) pacts.
Although Burns Xi’s . described “main focus” as being “predictability”, it is unlikely that Beijing is too concerned about the “reputational damage” named by the spy chief. China has already reprimanded the US and the EU for accusing human rights abuses and has accused Washington of “war crimes” in answer. Similarly, in March, when urged by NATO leaders to condemn Russia, China’s foreign ministry said it would not listen to any… “lecture on justice from the abuser of international law.”