US Believes China "Flirting" With Taiwan Takeover: It's "Closer Than Most Think"
Such a scenario would force Washington's hand — it would have to decide to either go to war on behalf of its tiny ally halfway across the world against the massive and formidable People's Liberation Army (PLA) — or sit back and watch from the sidelines somewhat helplessly.
"China appears to be moving from a period of being content with the status quo over Taiwan to a period in which they are more impatient and more prepared to test the limits and flirt with the idea of unification," one senior US official was cited in the report as saying.
The official stated that Xi sees this as a crucial part of his legacy moving forward. The Chinese president "sees capstone progress on Taiwan as important to his legitimacy and legacy," the official was quoted further as saying. "It seems that he is prepared to take more risks," the official said.
Reuters in Taipei