Taiwanese president says China too 'overwhelmed' to launch invasion anytime soon

 December 1, 2023

Though tensions surrounding China's designs on Taiwan have remained high, the latter country's president, Tsai Ing-wen, recently suggested that Beijing is simply too “overwhelmed” with problems of its own to contemplate an imminent invasion, as NBC News reports.

Tai's comments came as part of an interview with the New York Times, a transcript of which was published by her own office on Thursday.

Recent years have seen an escalation of Chinese aggression and military pressure in relation to Taiwan -- which it views as part of its own territory -- with many global observers sounding the alarm about a potential attack that could spur the involvement of the world's most powerful geopolitical rivals.

However, in Tsai's estimation, any immediate threat has been mitigated by domestic concerns currently prevailing inside China.

“Well, I think the Chinese leadership at this juncture is overwhelmed by its internal challenges,” Tsai began.

She added, “And my thought is that perhaps this is not a time for them to consider a major invasion of Taiwan.”

Proving more context to her position, Tsai said, “Largely because the internal economic and financial as well as political challenges, but also, the international community has made it loud and clear that war is not an option, and peace and stability serves everybody's interests.”

Tsai's sentiments echo those expressed by President Joe Biden back in September, when he addressed reporters during a visit to Vietnam, as Fox Business reported at the time.

Citing China's slowing economic growth and various other internal woes, Biden suggested that President Xi Jinping “has his hands full right now,” and that is something he believes lowers the risk of an invasion which would almost certainly elicit a significant response from the United States.

Speaking about China's economic difficulties, Biden said, “I don't think this is going to cause China to invade Taiwan. As a matter of fact, the opposite, it probably doesn't have the same capacity that it had before.”

Perhaps less convinced of the theory that China is too preoccupied with its own concerns to consider an invasion of Taiwan is House Speaker Mike Johnson, who recently slammed Biden for his recent meeting with Xi in San Francisco during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit, as The Hill noted.

Though Biden took some heat for declaring Xi a “dictator” during a press conference, Johnson said that the overall optics of the situation were not good, asserting, “Anyone who looks at this objectively has to agree that President Biden is projecting weakness on the world stage.”

“If you project weakness, you invite aggression. It's a dangerous time right now to be inviting aggression on our country,” Johnson said during an interview with radio personality John Catsimatidis. “That's why you see China, Iran, Russia, all of our adversaries around the world...being very provocative.”

Whether Tsai and Biden's predictions that China's domestic distractions will thwart plans for an invasion of its democratically governed neighbor prove correct, or if Beijing believes that current weakness in Washington offers a golden window of opportunity that must be swiftly seized, only time will tell.