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Kissinger: ‘I don’t expect an all-out attack on Taiwan … in a 10-year period’

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Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said on Sunday that he does not expect China to launch a full-on military attack on Taiwan in the next decade.

During an appearance on CNN, Kissinger told host Fareed Zakaria that the “ultimate creation of one China” is the objective of Chinese policy, but he doesn’t expect Beijing to use military force in the near future.  

“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,” Kissinger said.

“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,” he added.

Kissinger also said that he felt President Biden has a “tough” problem regarding Beijing, saying that everyone wants to be a “China Hawk.” 

“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,” Kissinger told Zakaria. 

“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,” Kissinger added. 

His comments came after President Biden and Chinese President Xi held a virtual meeting last week to discuss topics including Beijing’s military actions near Taiwan’s border, human rights and collaboration on climate change.

Tags China-Taiwan tension CNN Henry Kissinger Joe Biden

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