Xi Said US Trying To 'Goad Beijing' Into Attacking Taiwan

China's President Xi Jinping told European Commission head Ursula von der Leyen that Washington was trying to "goad Beijing into attacking Taiwan," the Financial Times said on Saturday.

In a report based on information from people familiar with the matter, the British daily said Xi issued the warning in a meeting with von der Leyen in April 2023. She paid an official visit to China last year which coincided with the state visit of French President Emmanuel Macron.

According to the newspaper, Xi said the US was trying to trick China into invading Taiwan, but that he would not take the bait.

The revelation comes as tensions are high across the Taiwan Strait. China responded to last month's inauguration of Lai Ching-te as Taiwan's new president with military drills around the island, which it claims as its own. Taipei, however, insists on its independence since 1949.

Xi's remarks are probably the first known case of him making the claim to a foreign leader.

The Chinese leader also said that a conflict with the US would undermine his goal of achieving a "great rejuvenation" by 2049.

US officials have, in recent years, increased engagement with Taiwan but the administration says it remains committed to its longstanding one-China policy.

At the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore this month, Chinese Defence Minister Dong Jun said the country's military was ready to "forcefully" stop Taiwan's independence.

Earlier, the Foreign Ministry said those supporting independence for Taiwan would find themselves "crushed." 

Source: Anadolu

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