Over 50% chance China will invade Taiwan in 10 yrs: ex-U.S. official

The likelihood of China invading Taiwan within the next 10 years is higher than 50 percent, a former U.S. national security adviser who mainly handled issues related to the Asian giant has said.

To discourage Beijing from doing so, the United States, Europe and Japan should enhance cooperation in the political, economic and security fields, Matthew Pottinger, who served as deputy national security adviser to President Donald Trump, told a recent interview with Kyodo News.

The reunification of the self-ruled island is indispensable to President Xi Jinping’s goal of attaining the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and he is determined to achieve it, Pottinger said.

The probability of China using force to bring Taiwan under its control will be “more than 50 percent in the next decade,” he said.

Matthew Pottinger, a former U.S. national security adviser, is pictured in Washington in February 2023. (Getty/Kyodo)

The visiting fellow at U.S. think tank the Hoover Institution backed the China-related policies of President Joe Biden’s administration, including measures unveiled in October aimed at strengthening broad restrictions on exports of the most advanced semiconductors to China.

Pottinger said Biden has basically maintained the Trump administration’s hard-line position on China and helped bipartisan efforts to deal with Beijing, at a time when the Democrats and Republicans have otherwise intensified their rivalries amid increasingly deep divisions.

Japan and many other countries have struggled to impose sanctions on China, given their already close economic ties.

Pottinger said, however, it is unavoidable for such countries to put security issues first because geopolitics ultimately trumps economic relations, which would be severed in the event of war.

China is unlikely to provide weapons for Russia’s war against Ukraine, Pottinger said, noting Beijing recognizes that if it did so it would be crossing a red line.

While China may be inclined to support Russia militarily that would worsen relations with the United States and Europe to a level that would devastate its economy, he said, adding although the leaderships in Beijing and Moscow have close connections there is no strong mutual affinity between the peoples of the two countries.

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