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Xi Jinping accuses the United States of wanting to drag China into war

Xi Jinping accuses the United States of wanting to drag China into war
Xi Jinping accuses the United States of wanting to drag China into war

 


  • Chinese President Xi Jinping said the United States was trying to manipulate China into attacking Taiwan.
  • The statement came during Xi's private discussions with European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen and with Chinese officials.
  • Experts say Xi's statements could be part of China's attempt to distance Europe from the United States over the Taiwan issue, but it is possible that Xi sincerely believes the United States is seeking conflict .

Chinese President Xi Jinping told European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen that Washington was trying to manipulate Beijing into attacking Taiwan, according to several people familiar with the matter. Financial Times.

The Chinese leader also issued the warning to Chinese officials at home, one of the sources said.

Xi made the remarks during a meeting with von der Leyen in April, which were described to the Financial Times by several people present. Xi said the United States was trying to trick China into invading Taiwan, but it would not take the bait.

Xi's comments reveal his view on Taiwan, the thorniest issue in U.S.-China relations.

Some Chinese academics and military reserve officers have said Washington is trying to provoke Beijing by supplying weapons to Taiwan and taking other steps designed to draw China into a military confrontation.

In his speech at the Asia Society in January, Cui Tiankai, China's former ambassador to Washington, said China would not fall into any trap anyone might set for us, “making a veiled reference to the United States.”

Xi's remark to von der Leyen is the first known example of his statement to a foreign leader. Xi also said conflict with the United States would destroy many of China's achievements and undermine its goal of achieving a “great renaissance” by 2049.

If Xi sincerely believes that the United States is actively seeking conflict with China over Taiwan, then concerns that Xi has created an information vacuum or is receiving worryingly bad advice from his subordinates are unfortunately justified,” said Jude Blanchette, a China expert at CSIS, a China think tank.

This revelation comes in a context of strong tensions along the Taiwan Strait. China responded to the May inauguration of Lai Ching-te as Taiwan's new president with major military exercises around the island. Beijing has described Lai as a dangerous separatist. »

Washington has an obligation to aid Taiwan and ensure its own defense under the Taiwan Relations Act. However, the Biden administration has emphasized that it does not support Taiwan's independence and opposes unilateral changes to the status quo.

China's concern about U.S. intentions has increased in recent years, as have U.S. concerns about China's aggressive military activity around Taiwan.

A Chinese scholar said Washington actively encourages pro-independence forces in Taiwan and that the United States knows that if it crosses a red line by declaring independence, China will have to take military action.

Whatever the explanation for Xi's remarks, it is clear that the decision-making environment – ​​and the information that feeds it – is being distorted, either by Xi's lieutenants or by his authoritarian behavior,” Blanchette said .

Bonnie Glaser, a China expert at the German Marshall Fund, said Xi's claims could be part of an attempt by China to distance Europe from the United States on the Taiwan issue, but it is possible that Xi really believes in these things.

The Chinese embassy in Washington did not comment on Xi's remark, but said the United States was selling arms to Taiwan and supporting separatist forces.

Ursula von der Leyen's spokeswoman said she did not disclose details of the private meetings. The White House had no comment.

Sources

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