China has reached the “height of its power” which may prompt Beijing to launch an invasion of Taiwan, former National Security Advisor John Bolton exclusively told Daily Express US.
Ambassador Bolton – who most recently served as National Security Advisor under Donald Trump and held roles in other Republican administrations – warned that China’s economic slowdown could convince Xi Jinping and the Communist Party now is the time to take Taiwan.
“There’s a theory that I think has a lot of merit to it if you assume – correctly – that the military force is a function of economic power,” Mr. Bolton told Daily Express US.
He continued: “If what China sees heading into the rest of the century is declining economic growth, declining economic vitality, that means declining military power too.
“So, in a way, China’s now at the height of its power, and risks decline over a long period of time, meaning that if they’re going to use it now would be a better time to do it.”
In addition, Mr. Bolton warned that the United States was not ready if China did decide to launch a military venture – something which Beijing would see as an “opportunity”.
He said: “We’re still stuck in the post-Soviet collapse way of thinking that, you know, we’ve reached the end of history – we’ve let the defense budgets fall and we’re seeing some of the consequences now.”
Mr. Bolton added: “This is a window of opportunity for China, potentially, and it’s one reason why the Taiwanese I think are very properly concerned.”
The CCP – at the behest of Xi Jinping – has taken greater centralized control over the Chinese economy at the cost of an economic slowdown.
Xi is the most powerful Communist Party leader in decades and has called for China to “build a socialist ideology with strong cohesion”.
In addition to his domestic policies, China’s leader has kept the door open for retaking Taiwan by force.
Tensions between the US and China have soared over the issue after a series of high-profile diplomatic trips undertaken by US and Taiwanese officials.
Beijing has used increasingly harsh rhetoric concerning the democratically-run island which China sees as a rogue province.
It is unclear if an attempt by Xi to take over the island by force would automatically mean war with the US, but President Joe Biden has on multiple occasions insisted the US would defend Taiwan.
Those comments were quickly walked back by his aides but the US does provide the island with state-of-the-art military equipment with which to defend itself.
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