Xi‘too busy’for invasion
China’s President Xi Jinping is so “overwhelmed” by economic crisis and international pressure that he is unlikely to invade Taiwan, the island’s president says, despite reports of menacing exercises by Beijing’s military forces. However, Tsai Ingwen added that China was attempting to interfere in Taiwan’s forthcoming presidential election, and said international support was essential to deterring an invasion of the democratic self-ruling island, which Beijing claims as its own. “I think the Chinese leadership at this juncture is overwhelmed by its internal challenges,” she said in remarks at a teleconference organised by The New York Times. “And my thought is that perhaps this is not a time for them to consider a major invasion of Taiwan. Largely because the internal economic and financial as well as political challenges, but also, the international community has made it loud and clear that war is not an option.” China is struggling with rising youth unemployment and a crisis in its property sector which is undermining an economy that has still not fully bounced back from the Covid-19 pandemic. This month Xi and United States President Joe Biden held their first summit in a year, where Xi did not step back from Beijing’s long-standing insistence that Taiwan is part of China and must be reunified with it, although he reportedly said that he had no plans for an imminent invasion. Despite this, the People’s Liberation Army is conducting repeated military exercises close to Taiwan. Taiwan reported yesterday that Chinese military planes and naval ships once again crossed the “median line” in the Taiwan Strait.