By Jack Davis March 19, 2022 at 1:27pm
A new report claims that China could have been thinking about trading in its bombast toward Taiwan for bombs as soon as this fall.
An anonymous analyst with Russia’s Federal Security Service who goes by the name of “Wind of Change” has been leaking reports to Russian dissident Vladimir Osechkin. Osechkin, who lives in France, then publishes them, according to Newsweek.
One piece of intelligence touched on China.
“[President] Xi Jinping was at least tentatively considering the capture of Taiwan in the autumn — he needs his own small victory in order to be re-elected for a third term — there is a colossal power struggle among the elite,” the whistleblower claimed in a March 9 letter to Osechkin.
According to the whistleblower, the Russian invasion of Ukraine hurt China.
“Now, after the events in Ukraine, this window of opportunity has shut, which gives the United States the opportunity to both blackmail Xi and negotiate with his rivals on favorable terms.”
“Because of the war, Russia has such a negative image for a number of countries that the United States can easily push sanctions against China, at least with the Europeans, if it risks circumventing the sanctions on Russia,” the letter read. “China depends on exports so much that, coupled with its dependence on commodity prices … this would be almost a fatal blow.”
So it is true? Christo Grozev, executive director of the investigative journalism group Bellingcat, said he thinks the leaks are real, but might not be accurate.
Joseph Wu, Taiwan’s minister of foreign affairs, said on Wednesday that his country is acting on the assumption that an attack is being planned.
Will China invade Taiwan in the coming years?
“No matter if or when China decides to attack us, we must always be ready to defend ourselves,” he said.
Last year, Taiwan’s chief of intelligence Chen Ming-tong advised that an invasion is not likely until Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen leaves office.
Tsai said last week that her nation can learn an encouraging lesson from Ukraine, even though its military is dwarfed by China’s.
“The recent situation in Ukraine proves that, in addition to international support and assistance, it boils down to the unity of our people to safeguard our country,” she said, according to CNN.
“Every reservist … has to assume that war could happen in their hometowns,” she added.
#Taiwan has doubled the length of annual reserve training & stepped up the intensity of exercises. These reforms strengthen our military mobilisation, demonstrate our commitment to self-defense & reflect our people’s resolve to ensure our country’s security. pic.twitter.com/V7s2CplVAv
— 蔡英文 Tsai Ing-wen (@iingwen) March 11, 2022
China has taken an increasingly aggressive stance in recent years toward Taiwan, the island off its coast that Beijing claims is rightfully part of its turf.
Although the U.S. has withdrawn formal diplomatic ties to Taiwan to appease China, it has also kept up a steady flow of weapons to the island to guard against a possible invasion from the mainland.