Henry Kissinger has said he does not believe Chinese President Xi Jinping will launch a war within the next decade to take Taiwan under Beijing’s control. “I don’t expect an all-out attack on Taiwan in, say, a 10-year period, which is as far as I can see,” the former US national security adviser and secretary of state told CNN in an interview on Sunday. “I think it is perfectly possible that if the confrontation keeps growing, the Chinese will take measures that will weaken the Taiwanese ability to appear substantially autonomous. I think this is foreseeable.” Kissinger’s comments come with alarm growing across both political parties in Washington that Xi is pushing China ever closer to a potentially catastrophic war to take control of the self-governed island. Over the past year, China’s military has flown hundreds of fighter jets and other planes near Taiwan, while Chinese state media outlets frequently issue chest-thumping warnings about a potential attack. As Washington’s relationship with Beijing has steadily worsened over recent years, the US has also been increasingly willing to publicly embrace Taipei as a close partner that shares its democratic values. Last month, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen revealed that the US military had a presence on the island and had been helping train Taiwan’s military – although official US policy towards Taiwan is still described as one of “strategic ambiguity”, meaning it is unclear whether or to what extent Washington would defend the island if it were attacked. On Monday in Washington, US and Taiwanese officials are also expected to meet for a dialogue to forge closer commercial and economic ties. Beijing views the self-ruled island of 23 million people as its own territory, to be brought under its control by force if necessary, and says it strongly opposes any form of official contact with the government in Taipei. Biden and Xi discussed Taiwan during their virtual summit a week ago, but did not resolve their disagreement on that or any other major issue that is driving up tensions between the two superpowers. Kissinger, now 98 years old, is not serving in a US government position, and it is unclear what information he used as the basis for his prediction about Chinese policy. He is chair of a consulting company, Kissinger & Associates, which does business in China. His comments come 50 years after he made his famous secret trip to Beijing as a precursor to the re-establishment of a formal US-China diplomatic relationship. Since then he has been a respected guest of many top leaders in Beijing, including Xi.