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Chinese President Xi Jinping reportedly told European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen that the United States wants China to initiate a conflict with Taiwan.

According to sources from various news outlets familiar with the conversation, in a meeting with von der Leyen in April 2023, Xi claimed that the United States was attempting to lure Beijing into attacking Taiwan. During their discussion, Xi said that he would not fall for what he described as a strategic trap set by the US. Xi went so far as to claim that the United States wants a direct military confrontation with China.


According to these sources, Xi reportedly believes that entering into a war with the United States now would jeopardize China’s goals and his vision of a “great rejuvenation” by 2049. If true, these claims would be similar to those of Chinese academics and retired military officers who have echoed similar sentiments. One official, former Chinese ambassador to the US, Cui Tiankai, suggested that various “US provocations,” like selling arms to Taiwan, would not trap China.

The revelation comes amid heightened tensions across the Taiwan Strait, especially following the inauguration of Taiwan’s new president, Lai Ching-te. Beijing, which views Lai as a “dangerous separatist,” has responded to his assumption of power with more military drills around Taiwan. Earlier this year, one top US military official said the drills “looked like” a rehearsal for a possible invasion of Taiwan.

While the US acknowledges the “One-China” policy, the US is also committed to assisting Taiwan in self-defense under the Taiwan Relations Act. This has led to accusations from China that the United States is “undermining” the One-China policy.


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