Bill Burns says China ‘unsettled’ by Russia’s war in Ukraine and it may influence decisions on the possible use of force against Taiwan
Russia’s experience in Ukraine is affecting China’s calculations on how and when it may decide to invade Taiwan, the head of the CIA said on Wednesday.
Appearing at the Aspen Security Forum, Central Intelligence Agency director Bill Burns played down speculation that Chinese president Xi Jinping could move on Taiwan after a key Communist party meeting later this year.
“The risks of that become higher, it seems to us, the further into this decade that you get,” Burns said, adding: “I wouldn’t underestimate President Xi’s determination to assert China’s control” over self-ruling Taiwan.
Burns said that China was “unsettled” when looking at Russia’s five-month-old war in Ukraine, which he characterised as a “strategic failure” for president Vladimir Putin as he had hoped to topple the Kyiv government within a week.