NEW YORK – China is too consumed by domestic economic and political problems to invade Taiwan, even as Beijing ramps up military pressure, the island’s outgoing president said.
“The Chinese leadership at this juncture is overwhelmed by its internal challenges,” Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said at the New York Times DealBook summit on Nov 29.
“My thought is that perhaps this is not a time for them to consider a major invasion of Taiwan.”
Even so, Taiwan faces “mounting military intimidation, grey-zone campaigns, cyber attacks and information manipulation” from China, Ms Tsai said.
She added that the international community has also made clear “war is not an option, and peace and stability serves everybody’s interests.”
Ms Tsai, Taiwan’s president since 2016, can’t seek reelection in a vote set for January because of term limits.
She said she is watching the war in Ukraine closely, and praised the US for reiterating that its partnership with Taiwan is an enduring one despite Chinese pressure.
She also called on Western firms to consider moving to Taiwan from China as the business environment on the mainland deteriorates and concerns persist about supply-chain resiliency.
“Doing business in China is riskier than before,” Ms Tsai said.
“And Western companies may want to look for alternative or additional bases in the region. And we welcome them to forge a deeper connection with Taiwan.” BLOOMBERG