As a result of the feckless leadership of Joe Biden, Donald Trump claimed ‘China’s going to be next’ in attacking Taiwan. He cited Vladimir Putin’s aggression toward Ukraine as the reason for this.
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According to the former president, Putin’s ‘genius’ idea to send so-called peacekeepers to Ukraine would not have happened if he had been president, adding: ‘Had I been in office, not even thinkable. This would never have happened.’
Putin’s move has emboldened China’s president, Xi Jinping, according to an interview Trump gave on The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show on Tuesday.
‘China’s going to be next,’ he said on the podcast.
‘You know, China is gonna —’
Suddenly, Travis interrupts him and asks: ‘You think they’re gonna go after Taiwan?’
Trump replied: ‘Oh, absolutely. Not with me, they wouldn’t have.
‘They’re waiting ’til after the Olympics. Now the Olympics ended, and look at your stopwatch, right?
‘It’s almost like twin sisters right here because you have one that wants Taiwan, I think, equally badly. Somebody said, ‘Who wants it more?’ I think probably equally badly.’
Trump added that if he was in the White House, ‘Putin would have never done it, and Xi would have never done it.’
Chinese policy towards Taiwan’s self-ruled island is to treat it as a breakaway province that must recognize Chinese sovereignty, and Beijing has never renounced using force to achieve its objective.
As stipulated by the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979, the United States must provide Taiwan with means of self-defense, but it is intentionally ambiguous about whether the U.S. will come to Taiwan’s aid if attacked.
Taiwan, whose government says it wants peace but will defend itself if attacked, has faced increased military and diplomatic pressure from China in the past two years.
Taiwan is regularly cited as the most important and sensitive issue in China’s relationship with the United States, which is also strained due to disputes over trade and human rights.
In October, Biden stated unequivocally that the United States would defend Taiwan from an attack by China, surprising many with his resolve.
In a later statement, the White House explained: ‘The president was not announcing any change in our policy and there is no change in our policy.’
Donald Trump’s analysis has been shared by many.
A commentary appeared in The Australian Financial Review on Sunday, entitled: ‘The Taiwan question: when will Xi make his move?’
In Foreign Policy, Dan Blumenthal, director of Asian studies at the American Enterprise Institute, wrote the following article: ‘Beijing Could Run Russia’s Playbook on Taiwan’.
A meeting between Putin and Xi this month in Beijing, just before the opening ceremonies for the Winter Olympics, created speculation that the two nations would form an alliance to counter the U.S.
The two countries backed each other’s opposition to NATO expansion in the former Soviet republics and supported China’s claims to Taiwan.
Despite this, the relationship is still imbalanced.
In contrast to China’s growing economic and political power, Russia is becoming increasingly isolated and reverting to Cold War tactics of intimidation and bullying.
Trump expressed strong criticism of Biden’s approach, accusing him of misreading Putin and underestimating him.
‘This would never has happened if we were there,’ Trump said to the hosts.
‘I knew Putin very well. I got along with him great. He liked me. I liked him.
‘I mean, you know, he’s a tough cookie, got a lot of the great charm and a lot of pride.
‘But the way he — and he loves his country, you know? He loves his country. He’s acting a little differently I think now.’
He continued: ‘I knew that he always wanted Ukraine. I used to talk to him about it.
‘I said, ‘You can’t do it. You’re not gonna do it.’ But I could see that he wanted it. I used to ask him. We used to talk about it at length.
‘I think nobody probably knows him better in terms of the discussions that we have or that we’re having this morning.’
Despite Putin indicating his plan to send troops beyond Russian borders, Biden announced tough new sanctions against Russia for ‘beginning’ the invasion of Ukraine.
In Russia, the Federation Council unanimously approved Putin’s plan to deploy peacekeepers into two breakaway regions now recognized as independent by Moscow, and possibly into other parts of Ukraine.
Among the first round of sanctions Biden announced were steps to starve Russia of financing and target financial institutions and Russia’s ‘elites.’
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Nevertheless, he left the door open to a final diplomatic effort to keep Russia from invading fully.
‘There’s no question that Russia is the aggressor, so we’re clear eyed about the challenges we’re facing,’ Biden said.
Biden gave his speech after Britain and the European Union announced sanctions following Putin’s recognition of the self-proclaimed rebel republics of Donetsk and Lugansk.
Additionally, Germany announced that it had halted certification of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia.
Despite uncertainty as to Putin’s plans, the West has been warning for weeks he is preparing an all-out invasion of Ukraine, which could spark a catastrophic war across Europe.