Lessons for Taiwan’s success?
CIA: Xi is closely watching Putin’s failures in Ukraine
12/18/2022 5:32 am
According to CIA Director Burns, China’s President XI is closely following the course of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Because he is keeping open the option of attacking Taiwan.
According to CIA Director Bill Burns, Beijing’s leaders are closely monitoring Russian war efforts in Ukraine. “I don’t think any foreign leader has focused more on this war and Russia’s poor military performance than Xi Jinping, as he reflects his own ambitions in Taiwan and elsewhere,” Burns said in an interview with PBS.
It has been interesting to watch the Chinese leadership’s reaction to the war in Ukraine through the close partnership between China’s leader and Russian President Vladimir Putin over the past few years. “When they met at the Beijing Winter Olympics a few weeks before Putin launched his invasion of Ukraine, they expressed boundless friendship,” Burns told the broadcaster.
“This partnership actually has some limitations, not least President Xi’s reluctance to give Putin the military support he has asked for since the war in Ukraine.”
Burns cautions against underestimating Xi’s ambitions to control Taiwan. “He said publicly that he wanted to accomplish this by means other than the use of force,” the CIA chief said. “But we also know that he has instructed his military leadership to be ready to launch a war by 2027.”
From a strategic perspective, Burns says, Putin’s war so far has failed in many respects. “The Russian military has performed poorly and suffered heavy losses. The Russian economy has suffered long-term damage. Much of the progress made by Russia’s middle class over the last 30 years is being wiped out.” Nevertheless, the intelligence chief does not believe Moscow is currently “serious” about genuine peace talks.
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