Well, I mean, look, I thought what President Biden did was exactly right given the mess in Ukraine. And the degree to which I think the Russians did not believe that the western world would come to the defense of Ukrainians. And now there is a much bigger war with worldwide implications of global famine and just enormous problems. I think here he is trying to be very clear. I can’t understand — I mean I assume he doesn’t have any control in the white house. Because I can’t understand how you walk it back. I mean, the word yes is definitive and probably the right word to make sure that Xi Jinping who is the dictator and head of the secretary general of the Chinese communist party. Xi jinping needs to understand that an attack on Taiwan would lead to a general war. Because that’s what would happen if the United States defend Taiwan who will be in a general war with China. It’s not something you want to keep localized. And we are either are, or we are not. And if your goal is to convince the Chinese communists not to invade Taiwan, what Biden did intuitively was actually pretty good. So, it’s a little strange to see his own white house kind of walking him back. He is the president. They’re not.
As a matter of diplomatic pleasantness, the Chinese knew, I’ve been in conversations when I was speaker of the house. The communists knew any efforts across the straits would ultimately have to involve Americans. And so, we have been very clear about that. The Taiwan will remain independent, you can’t declare that it’s a free country because of the One China agreement. On the other hand, the deal was the Chinese communists can’t invade. So, both sides have to keep their half of the bargain and I think given the confusion over Ukraine, given a sense of Biden is weak. What president Biden did in Asia, I suspect at the request of our allies, was probably the right thing to do. You don’t want ambiguity in dealing with Beijing. You want them to understand an attack on Taiwan will lead to a very large war that they will lose.
Look, I think — I’m guessing here. I mean Xi jinping is a very, very smart man. And I suspect he is looking at the mess the Russians are now in. And he is saying to himself if the gap between performance and promise when you have never tried it before is that big, am I really confident, you know, the Nazis couldn’t cross 21 miles of the English there is 160 miles in the Taiwan strait. That’s not nearly as obvious that you can get across. Other things they can do frankly. They can declare missile test zones. They could declare that they have naval exercises. They could do a lot of things to cripple Taiwan and cut off commercial shipping. That would not shock me if they tried that game, and we would end up having to escort ships to get into Taiwan. But I think for them to directly attack Taiwan is a high risk and the failure of the Russians to perform I think has made it a higher risk because Xi Jinping doesn’t know how his military will perform the first time they go into combat. We have a pretty good idea because our people have been engaged for so long in the real operations that we are pretty confident at least for the moment that we can defeat the Chinese if we have to. To say whether or not 10 or 15 years from now given the bureaucracy of the Pentagon we will be able to modernize fast enough, I’m not sure.
Look, I think that all of his key people are hard line left wingers who are terrified of the world. And I think that Biden instinctively here was right. I believe and as you know Claire Christenson and I wrote a book Trump vs. China and laid out the whole Chinese threat. The clearer you can be, we are not in a situation of strategic ambiguity because you don’t want Xi jinping to gamble and try to take Taiwan. I thought Biden was right and his staff is nuts.
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