Xi Said US Is Trying To 'Goad Beijing' Into Attacking Taiwan

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by Tyler Durden
Monday, Jun 17, 2024 - 08:40 PM

China’s President Xi Jinping told European Commission head Ursula von der Leyen that the United States was trying to "goad Beijing into attacking Taiwan," according to officials aware of the exchange, which took place a little over a year ago but is just now being revealed.

Xi has also been warning his own officials, at a moment tensions are high across the Taiwan Strait particularly given Beijing sees newly inaugurated Taiwan President Lai Ching-te as a pro-independence hawk.

"Xi issued the warning in a meeting with von der Leyen in April 2023 that was described to the Financial Times by several people," according to a weekend report in FT. "He said the US was trying to trick China into invading Taiwan, but that he would not take the bait. Another person said he had issued similar warnings to his officials."

24th EU-China Summit in Beijing in 2023, AFP

"Xi’s remark to von der Leyen is the first known case of him making the claim to a foreign leader," the report continued. "Xi also said that a conflict with the US would destroy many of China’s achievements and undermine his goal of achieving a 'great rejuvenation' by 2049."

The revelation follows on the heels of Chinese Defense Minister Dong Jun telling the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore this month that the People's Liberation Army (PLA) is ready to "forcefully" stop Taiwan’s independence.

China's Foreign Ministry has also recently said that those supporting independence for the island would find themselves "crushed." Much of this is in response to remarks of US President Joe Biden on multiple different occasions seen as ultra-provocative and representing as possible shift from Washington's long-standing 'One China' policy.

"The U.S. is standing up for peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait," the president declared at West Point on May 25th of this year. He added that "I’ve always been willing to use force when required to protect our nation, our allies, our core interests." 

He has actually articulated this commitment publicly on no less than six occasions: August 2021October 2021May 2022September 2022, at the West Point commencement address, and in interview remarks to TIME magazine.  

Without doubt, Beijing has picked up on every comment, and is monitoring carefully. It has of late also launching encircling military drills around the island in response to President Lai's coming to power.

Beijing likely sees other US allies in the region as being prepped by Washington for a future hot conflict with China...

As for Lai, he said while visiting a military academy in the south of Taiwan this weekend, "The biggest challenge is to face the powerful rise of China, [which is] destroying the status quo in the Taiwan Strait and regards Taiwan’s annexation and the elimination of the Republic of China as the great rejuvenating cause of its people."