US intelligence reveals that Chinese President Xi Jinping has instructed his country’s military to “be ready by 2027” to invade Taiwan although he currently harbors doubts about his ability to do so given Russia’s experience in the war with Ukraine, CIA director William Burns said.

Burns, in a televised interview broadcast Sunday, stressed that the United States must take “very seriously” Xi’s desire to ultimately control Taiwan even if military conflict is not inevitable.

“We know, as has been made public, that President Xi has instructed the PLA, the Chinese military leadership, to be ready to invade Taiwan in 2027, but that does not mean he has decided to invade in 2027 or any other year as well,” Burns told CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

“I think our assessment at least is that President Xi and his military leadership have doubts today about whether they could carry out that invasion,” he said.

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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 functions as a sovereign nation but is not recognized by the UN or any major country. In 1979, President Jimmy Carter formally recognized the government in Beijing and severed inter-country ties with Taiwan. In response, Congress passed the Taiwan Relations Act, creating a benchmark for a continued relationship.

Taiwan has received many displays of official US support for the island democracy in the face of growing shows of force from Beijing, which claims Taiwan as part of its territory. President Joe Biden has said that US forces would defend Taiwan if China tries to invade. The White House says US policy has not changed by making clear that Washington wants to see Taiwan’s status resolved peacefully. It is silent on whether US forces might be sent in response to a Chinese attack.

In Sunday’s interview, Burns said support from the United States and European allies for Ukraine following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of the country could serve as a potential deterrent for Chinese officials for now, but said the risks of a possible attack on Taiwan will only increase. stronger.

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“I think when they’ve looked at Putin’s experience in Ukraine, it’s probably reinforced some of those doubts,” Burns said. “So, all I would say is that I think the risks of, you know, a potential use of force probably grow the further into this decade you go and beyond that, even into the following decade.

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“So it’s something obviously that we’re looking at very, very carefully,” he said.

China accuses US of ‘bullying’ with new ‘illegal’ sanctions

China on Monday accused the United States of “direct bullying and double standards” as it leveled what it called “illegal” sanctions against Chinese companies as part of U.S. measures against Russia’s Wagner group and related companies and individuals.

Units were targeted for their role in the war in Ukraine and mercenary activities, including human rights abuses, in Africa.

The sanctions “have no basis in international law or authorization from the Security Council, and are typical of illegal unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning said at a daily briefing.

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The punitive measures “seriously harmed China’s interests” and China “strongly rejects and regrets it and has submitted solemn complaints to the US side,” Mao said.

“While the United States has intensified its efforts to send weapons to one of the parties to the conflict, resulting in an endless war, it has often spread false information about China’s arms supply to Russia and seized the opportunity to sanction Chinese companies without reason. ,” She said. “This is pure bullying and double standards.”

The Treasury and State Departments announced the moves in joint statements targeting dozens of Wagner Group affiliates, including some in the Central African Republic and the United Arab Emirates, as well as the president of Russia’s Kalashnikov Concern, the original maker of the AK-47. automatic carbine.

Wagner, a private Russian military company, has been involved in heavy fighting in eastern Ukraine.

The sanctions also hit the Chinese company Changsha Tianyi Space Science and Technology Research Institute Co. Ltd., also known as Spacety China, which has provided Wagner Group affiliates with satellite images of Ukraine supporting Wagner’s military operations there. A Luxembourg-based subsidiary of Spacety China was also targeted.

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