Blinken Says China Wants to Seize Taiwan on a ‘Much Faster Timeline’

Blinken Says China Wants to Seize Taiwan on a ‘Much Faster Timeline’
Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks to reporters at Stanford University in Stanford, Calif., on Oct. 17, 2022. (Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images)
Tom Ozimek

China’s communist regime intends to move against Taiwan on a “much faster timeline” than previously believed, according to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who warned that Chinese leader Xi Jinping is determined to wrest control of the self-governing island, potentially by force.

Blinken made the remarks on Oct. 17 at an event jointly hosted by the Hoover Institution and Stanford University, alongside former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

He dove into the topic of geopolitical strife by first addressing the situation in Ukraine, saying it “bothers all of us profoundly” that Russia is attempting to change borders by force and “subjugate another country to its will.”

Blinken then turned to China, saying the country under Xi has become “more repressive at home” and “more aggressive abroad.”

“In many instances, that poses a challenge to our own interests, as well as to our own values,” he continued, arguing that the United States is seeking to maintain the post-World War II liberal international order while China aims to impose a “profoundly illiberal order” on world affairs.

For decades and under both Democrat and Republican administrations, a hallmark of U.S. policy has been a commitment to a peaceful resolution of the differences between China and Taiwan, he said, adding that this approach has, up until recently, been “incredibly successful.”

Even though the United States ended formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan in 1979 and switched recognition to Beijing under the “One China” policy, Washington has maintained a robust unofficial relationship with Taipei and is legally bound to provide it with the arms necessary to defend itself.

Blinken said U.S. policy on Taiwan has been managed well and in a way that has avoided conflict with Beijing while allowing the people of Taiwan “to really flourish.” But that’s now changing.

“There has been a change in the approach from Beijing toward Taiwan in recent years,” Blinken said.

“Instead of sticking with the status quo that was established in a positive way, a fundamental decision that the status quo was no longer acceptable and that Beijing was determined to pursue reunification on a much faster timeline,” he continued.

“And if peaceful means didn’t work, then it would employ coercive means and possibly, if coercive means don’t work, maybe forceful means—to achieve its objectives. And that is what is profoundly disrupting the status quo and creating tremendous tensions,” Blinked added.

His remarks came a day after Xi said at a twice-a-decade Communist party congress on Oct. 16 that the “wheels of history are rolling on toward China’s reunification” with Taiwan, which Beijing sees as a rogue province.

While Xi said that bringing Taiwan under Beijing’s control would best be done peacefully, he said that the communist regime reserves “the option of taking all measures necessary.”

Biden administration officials have repeatedly accused Beijing of flexing its military muscle in the Taiwan Strait in a bid to shift the balance of power in the region in China’s favor.

President Joe Biden has, on a number of occasions, vowed that the United States would help Taiwan defend itself against an invasion by China’s communist forces.

Tensions between the United States and China have been elevated since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) visited Taiwan in August, with Beijing responding with a flurry of military exercise activity, including firing missiles into the waters around the island.

Tom Ozimek is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times. He has a broad background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education.
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