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Russia-Ukraine war turns spotlight on China's Taiwan calculus

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Beijing | May 8, 2022 2:24:14 PM IST
The seemingly interminable Russian invasion of Ukraine has brought renewed attention to another long-brewing geopolitical crisis as Xi Jinping has stated in no uncertain terms China's determination to 'reunify' with Taiwan, calling it a renegade regime.

While Ukraine has no formal military alliance with any country, Taiwan has ties with the US. Washington's stated policy remains that it will commit military force in defence of Taiwan, should such a need arise, arrangements similar to Japan and South Korea. All three are US allies' though not NATO members, Global Strat View reported.

However, China has also not failed to grasp the importance of the US and NATO's extreme aversion to casualties.

Meanwhile, Moscow has signalled clear intent and political will to continue its offensive, notwithstanding the fallout, which has indeed been severe, especially on the economic front.

According to media reports, the Chinese economy is very different from Russia's, and sanctions of a similar kind are as likely to hurt the West as they are to inflict pain on China. Beijing has been closely watching events unfold as it contemplates a similar 'adventure'.

In the ongoing invasion of Russia by Ukraine, the West aided the war-torn nation of Ukraine due to shared land borders with NATO countries, however, no significant aid could be provided to Taiwan by its allies if the People's Liberation Army makes its move, as Taiwan is an island with aerial resupply being the only viable option, the report further explained.

Since China considers Taiwan as part of its own territory, the use of nuclear weapons on its 'own' population is inconceivable, making it out of the calculus.

But as the Ukraine conflict has shown, making ill-advised threats of using tactical nuclear weapons is counterproductive, as China is also a veto-wielding nuclear power.

With the Ukraine conflict unfolding, the Chinese apparently have a first-hand assessment of the Western world's stomach for a fight, which doesn't entail boots on the ground, many in China have had the apparent motive of annexing the territory of a non-nuclear and smaller country.

Despite the fact that the two sides have been governed separately for more than seven decades, Beijing claims full sovereignty over Taiwan, a democracy of almost 24 million people located off the southeastern coast of mainland China.

The war between Russia and Ukraine has exhilarated Taiwanese as a poll shows that more than 70 per cent of Taiwanese citizens are willing to militarily defend the country in the event of war against China, local media reported. (ANI)

 
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