Stating that a military confrontation between China and Taiwan is unlikely, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Beijing does not need to use force to achieve “reunification” of the self-governing country.
Speaking to CNBC at the Russian Energy Week conference in Moscow on Wednesday, Mr Putin said China has been able to achieve national objectives by increasing economic capacity.
“I think China doesn’t need to use force. China is a very powerful economy, and in terms of purchasing parity, China is now the number one economy in the world ahead of the United States,” the Russian president said. , according to one translation.
“By increasing this economic potential, China is able to implement its national objectives. I do not see any danger.”
Chinese President Xi Jinping earlier this month vowed to peacefully “reunify” with Taiwan and said the country strongly opposes any foreign interference in the matter.
Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen responded in a speech on Sunday, declaring that his government would invest in enhancing its military capabilities to “demonstrate our determination to defend itself”.
Tensions between Beijing and Taipei have escalated after nearly 150 Chinese military planes entered Taiwan’s airspace over a period of four days.
Beijing claims full sovereignty over Taiwan, a democracy of some 24 million people located on mainland China’s southeast coast, despite the fact that the two sides have been governed separately for more than seven decades.
Taipei, on the other hand, has countered Chinese aggression by increasing strategic ties with democracies including the US, which has been repeatedly opposed by Beijing. China has threatened that “Taiwan’s independence” means war.