Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said he doesn’t foresee a Chinese military invasion of Taiwan in the next decade, though it’s “perfectly possible” that China will seek to weaken the island’s status.
“I don’t expect an all-out attack on Taiwan in, say, a 10-year period, which is as far as I can see,” Kissinger said in an interview on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS” to air Sunday.
Kissinger, 98, who also served as national security adviser and helped pave the way for President Richard Nixon’s historic 1972 visit to China, offered that “everyone wants to be a China hawk” and “everyone assumes that China is determined to dominate the world and that that is its primary objective.”
But he said there shouldn’t be an automatic rivalry and competition with the U.S., and that he thinks President Joe Biden during the virtual summit last week with Chinese leader Xi Jinping “began to move in a direction of a different road.”
China’s claim that Taiwan is a breakaway province to be taken by force if necessary was a contentious part the Biden-Xi talks. A Chinese Communist Party resolution reflecting Xi’s agenda advocated pushing for union with Taiwan, though it stopped short of listing unification as a near-term goal.
“We should have a principal goal of avoiding confrontation,” Kissinger told CNN. Still, he said it’s “foreseeable” that China “will take measures that will weaken the Taiwanese ability to appear substantially autonomous.”
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