China has doubt on the ability to invade Taiwan, says CIA chief William Burns
DECCAN CHRONICLE | DC Correspondent
Washington: Given Russia's experience in its war with Ukraine, US intelligence chief William Burns on Sunday said that there appear to be doubts in Beijing about China's ability to invade Taiwan successfully, reported DW News.
However, he said it was still important to take the threat to the island "very seriously." CIA chief said that the potential use of force was likely to grow by the end of the decade and into the next.
Burns, in a television interview, stressed that the US must take "very seriously" China's President Xi Jinping's desire to ultimately control Taiwan even if military conflict is not inevitable.
"President Xi has instructed the PLA, the Chinese military leadership, to be ready by 2027 to invade Taiwan, but that doesn't mean that he's decided to invade in 2027 or any other year as well," said Burns
"I think our judgment at least is that President Xi and his military leadership have doubts today about whether they could accomplish that invasion," he added.
Burns said it appeared likely that Russian President Vladimir Putin's setbacks during the invasion of Ukraine may have informed Beijing's sentiments, reported DW News.
"I think, as they've looked at Putin's experience in Ukraine, that's probably reinforced some of those doubts," Burns said.
The US and its allies have been wary of Beijing's response to the invasion of Ukraine, with some officials warning that a Russian victory could embolden China in its plans toward Taiwan.
China has never renounced the use of force to take control of the self-ruled island, which it considers to be a wayward province. China has not condemned Russia's war in Ukraine and has not called it an "invasion."
Taiwan and China split in 1949 after a civil war that ended with the Communist Party in control of the mainland. The self-governing island acts like a sovereign nation yet is not recognized by the United Nations or any major country.
In 1979, President Jimmy Carter formally recognized the government in Beijing and cut nation-to-nation ties with Taiwan. In response, Congress passed the Taiwan Relations Act, creating a benchmark for a continuing relationship, reported VOA News.
Taiwan has received numerous displays of official American support for the island democracy in the face of growing shows of force by Beijing, which claims Taiwan as part of its territory.
President Joe Biden has said that American forces would defend Taiwan if China tried to invade. The White House says US policy has not changed in making clear that Washington wants to see Taiwan's status resolved peacefully. It is silent as to whether US forces might be sent in response to a Chinese attack, reported VOA News.