H.R. McMaster: ‘I Think Xi Jingping Is Preparing the Chinese People for War’

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During an appearance on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” former National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster predicted China under Xi Jinping would move on Taiwan, adding that he viewed the Chinese dictator as preparing his people “for war.”

“It’s a grave threat,” McMaster said. “I think Xi Jinping means what he says, right? I think we have to be careful not to mirror image, not to fall into the same traps as we did with Vladimir Putin of confirmation bias and optimism bias. Xi Jinping has made quite clear in his statements that he’s going to make, from his perspective, China whole again by subsuming Taiwan. And the preparations are underway. So I think what is important is what – what Michele said, deterrence. But good old-fashioned deterrence by denial. I mean, hard power matters. And I think we are underinvested in defense in the United States. China has become increasingly aggressive, not only from an economic and financial perspective and a diplomacy perspective but physically with its military.

“And what’s really disturbing is I think Xi Jinping is preparing the Chinese people for war,” he continued. “In some of his speeches, he said, well, for us to restore China to national greatness, it’s going to take some – some sacrifices. So I think we have to take it very seriously and act to extend really our – our – our – our power. We talk a lot about relying on our allies, and then maybe if we take a step back, the allies will do more. I think actually the opposite is the case. If Americans just do a little bit more, many of our allies will follow suit and bolster their defense capabilities and capacity as well.”

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