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Taiwan foreign minister warns Chinese invasion 'more likely' in 2027

Joseph Wu says China could try to use Taiwan as 'scapegoat' to distract from domestic problems

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Foreign Minister Joseph Wu.

Foreign Minister Joseph Wu. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — In an interview with British media, Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) warned that an invasion by China is "more likely" in 2027 because Chinese Chairman Xi Jinping (習近平) will be starting his fourth term then.

On Wednesday (Jan 18), Sky News released excerpts from Wu's interview with Helen-Ann Smith where he said "2027 is a year we need to watch out." Wu said China's economy is sputtering and there is growing discontent among the populace.

He noted that Xi could be entering his fourth term in 2027, but if he is not able to address these problems, he may seek to "resort to the use of force" or create an external crisis to distract from domestic issues.

Alternatively, the foreign minister said Xi could try to seize Taiwan to "show to the Chinese that he has accomplished something." Wu expressed concern that Taiwan could become Xi's "scapegoat."

When asked by Smith whether the "worst possible scenario" now seemed more likely, Wu said this appears to be "more likely" based on the "trajectory of the Chinese military threat" against the country.

A report released by the Pentagon on Nov. 29, 2022 said the People's Liberation Army (PLA) has "set its sights to 2027" in terms of achieving the capability to invade Taiwan, and the paper listed four possible forms of military actions China could launch against Taiwan. The report observed that 2027 is the 100th anniversary of the founding of the PLA, and it is also the target date set by Xi for full modernization of the military.