(HorizonPost.com) – Last Friday, CIA Director Bill Burns confirmed that China might send lethal aid to Russia.
In an exclusive interview with CBS News anchor Margaret Brennan, Burns said the CIA is confident that Beijing is considering supplying “lethal equipment” to Russia. However, Burns stressed that no final decision has yet been made nor has the CIA seen any evidence that China has shipped lethal aid to Russia.
When asked by Brennan if the administration chose to publicly share the CIA’s intelligence as a way to deter China, Burns confirmed that was the goal, adding that it “would be a very risky and unwise bet” for President Xi to go through with it.
Burns suggested that Beijing is probably weighing the consequences of how the US may respond if China supplies Russia with lethal aid. He said President Xi has watched the global response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine more than any other world leader and suggested that Xi has been “unsettled and sobered by what he’s seen.”
In a recent interview on CBS’s Face the Nation, Secretary of State Antony Blinken also said that Beijing is actively considering sending lethal aid, including weapons and ammunition, to assist Russia in its war against Ukraine.
Shifting to Taiwan, Burns said that while the US needs to take Xi’s ambitions to control Taiwan “very seriously,” the CIA does not believe that this means a military conflict over the island is inevitable. He told Brennan that it is the judgment of the CIA that at present, both Xi and China’s military leaders are doubtful that an invasion of Taiwan could be accomplished.
Just weeks before Russia invaded Ukraine last year, Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Xi reaffirmed their commitment to deepening “strategic cooperation” between their two countries. The two leaders issued a joint statement opposing NATO expansion in Europe and affirming that Taiwan is part of China.
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