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Top US military official thinks Xi will not seize Taiwan by force

US Joint Chiefs of Staff says Xi may pursue alternate strategy to annex Taiwan

U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Charles Q. Brown. ( photo)

U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Charles Q. Brown. ( photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Chinese leader Xi Jinping (習近平) may not necessarily want to take Taiwan by force, U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Charles Q. Brown said on Friday (Nov. 10).

Xi will try to achieve his goals through other means, Brown said. Nevertheless, he said the U.S. must maintain a strong deterrent force against any potential actions by the Chinese military.

He urged the U.S. and its partners to closely monitor Xi’s military, diplomatic, and economic coercion towards Taiwan, according to Bloomberg. Brown also mentioned that after the conflict between Hamas and Israel in October, the U.S. did not redeploy its military assets stationed in East Asia.

Brown’s comments come ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco next week. Biden and Xi are expected to hold talks in a sideline meeting and Taiwan is likely to be a major topic of discussion. This would be their first face-to-face communication in a year.

Both the U.S. and China have reasons to improve bilateral relations, per Bloomberg. Xi may want to focus on reversing domestic economic trends, while President Joe Biden is running for re-election in 2024.