- CIA chief Bill Burns said China may be drawing lessons from Russia’s failures in Ukraine.
- He said the war likely would not shake China’s determination to invade Taiwan but would affect “how and when”.
- By now, Burns said, China may know that “overwhelming force” is necessary to achieve a “decisive” victory.
CIA Director William Burns said on Wednesday that Russia’s conflicts in Ukraine will likely affect “how and when” China decides to invade Taiwan.
Talk to NBC At the Aspen Security Forum, Burns said the Chinese may have learned vital lessons from the war.
He speculated that the Chinese were likely left “in a state of instability” by the poor performance of Russian forces and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “strategic failure” in Ukraine.
Despite these concerns, Burns cautioned that Chinese President Xi Jinping’s determination to “assert China’s control” over Taiwan should not be underestimated.
“I think the Chinese leadership is trying to study the lessons of the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” he said. “I think our sense is that it will likely affect less of the question of whether the Chinese leadership might choose a few years down the road to use force to take control of Taiwan, but how and when they will do that.”
Burns added that China likely noted that “overwhelming force” would be necessary to ensure “quick and decisive victories” in any invasion attempt. He compared this to Russia’s protracted conflict in Ukraine, which he said was “not a sustainable political end”.
With these factors in mind, Burns said the Chinese leadership may be looking to “mobilize overwhelming force” and “support” its economy against potential international sanctions.
Regarding Xi’s immediate priorities, Burns said he will likely focus on them Strengthen his strength during Next Communist Party Congress and keeping the Chinese economy afloat. However, he added, the chances of invading Taiwan would be “higher” in the latter part of the next decade.
The Chinese government claimed Taiwan as a “rebellious province” This is part of its territory, while the Taiwanese view the island as An independent and self-governing country that has its own army.
Political figures – including Former President Donald Trump They speculated that China would likely attempt a military attack on Taiwan, especially after Putin’s invasion of Ukraine in February. The Taiwanese are currently trying to strengthen their defenses in preparation for a possible Chinese invasion Urban warfare training.