Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger says he does not “expect an all-out attack” on Chinese Taipei by the government in Beijing within the next decade.
The senior American politician made the comments in an interview with CNN, shattering allegations that China may launch a military operation against Taiwan.
“I don't expect an all-out attack on Taiwan in, say, a 10-year period, which is as far as I can see. I think it is perfectly possible that if the confrontation keeps growing, that the Chinese will take measures that will weaken the Taiwanese ability to appear substantially autonomous,” said the 98-year-old, who served under the presidential administrations of Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.
‘A different road’
China considers Taiwan as being a part of its territory, and has warned against any of its independence bids.
“I think this is foreseeable, and we will have to decide as it evolves to what degree we'd consider that a military means or to what extent that's compatible within a political framework,” Kissinger said.
Tensions escalated recently over Chinese military flights, as well as increased US military support for Taiwan.
Kissinger further claimed that the administration of President Joe Biden is taking a different approach in dealing with the issue of Chinese Taipei.
“Everyone wants to be a China hawk. Everyone assumes that China is determined to dominate the world and that that is its primary objective. ... But there should not necessarily be an automatic rivalry and competition. And so, I think Biden began to move in a direction of a different road,” he claimed. “That does not mean it is yielding to China. It is to try to find a level in which we can talk about those things that are known to be common. We should have a principal goal of avoiding confrontation.”
The topic of Chinese Taipei was among the issues brought up last week in a virtual meeting between Chinese President Xi and his American counterpart.
American forces have reportedly been secretly training Taiwanese troops for months as tensions appear to be mounting between Beijing and Washington.
Beijing has repeatedly condemned the expanding US ties with Chinese Taipei and its weapons sales to the island territory as violation of China's sovereignty.