Beijing is likely to launch an invasion of Taiwan sooner rather than later, in response to the Biden administration’s handling of both the Afghanistan pullout and Ukraine crisis, according to former U.S. President Donald Trump.
The former president was asked by Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo on Feb. 2, “Do you expect China to invade Taiwan sooner rather than later?”
Trump replies: “I do because they’re seeing how stupid [sic] the United States is run. They’re seeing that our leaders are incompetent.”
The former president also claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin has taken actions that Putin would not have felt emboldened to take if Trump still occupied the White House. “Biden said such weak statements at the beginning that Putin said ‘Oh wow, this is my time to go,’” he said.
Trump added, “And by the way, Taiwan’s going to be next. Just watch Taiwan. President Xi is watching it with glee,” referring to Chinese leader Xi Jinping.
The Chinese communist regime considers self-ruled Taiwan as part of its territory to be seized by force, if necessary. Thus analysts have noted that Beijing is keenly observing the unfolding conflict and the United States’ and allies’ response to inform its future actions against the island.
Xi, according to Trump, may feel further emboldened by the United States’ chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan, an event widely considered one of the lowest points of American foreign policy in recent years.
“President Xi happens to be a man with a high intelligence level, and he looks what happened in Afghanistan, the way we pulled out,” Trump said. “He saw the way that we left Afghanistan, like a surrender, and left $85 billion in debts behind and left American citizens there that are still trying to get out. And he sees that, and this is his opportunity to do what he wants to do, and he’s wanted to do that, and China’s wanted to do that for decades.”
Trump’s comments echo statements he made last week before Russia’s full-scale invasion, when he said that Xi would invade Taiwan after taking a cue from Putin, characterizing the two leaders as “twin sisters.”