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Since the end of World War II, China and Taiwan have not been on the same page: after the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949 they have had separate governments. China’s president, Xin Jinping does not recognize Taiwan as an independent country and will not do so probably ever. On several occasions he has stated that Taiwan is part of China as much as the mainland and reunification must be fulfilled with or without military force. Meanwhile, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen believes otherwise. She is the leader of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and has made it clear she will not stop demanding from China to recognize them as separate. However, China and Taiwan are highly dependent on each other, therefore, the ever-lasting question remains: will China invade Taiwan to reclaim it?
Currently, Taiwan is only recognized by 13 countries as a sovereign state. Nevertheless, this does not mean the tensions between China and Taiwan could not impact globally. Taiwan has the support from the United States since Donald Trump’s administration and continues to do so with Joe Biden’s government. When he took power, the U.S. State Department reassured its rock-solid commitment to helping Taiwan defend itself. The U.S. had pledged to supply them with defensive weapons and military support. Likewise, a regional response would be unstoppable due to the physical proximity and importance Taiwan has towards Japan. Additionally, in the economic realm Taiwan has a key role within the global economy.
Asia’s most valuable listed company is also the world’s largest contract chip manufacturer: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC). Thus, a vast amount the world’s global supply chains of semiconductors depend on Taiwan; everyday electronic equipment, from phones to game consoles need it.
               Contrary to popular belief this facedown is not as improbable. In January of 2021, Taiwan’s defense ministry reported that on two occasions military elements from China entered the self-declared south-western air defense identification zone. The first one involved eight Chinese bomber planes, four fighter jets and one anti-submarine aircraft. The second involved twelve fighters, two anti-submarine aircraft and a reconnaissance plane. On both situations, Taiwan’s air force sent air defense missile systems to monitor the aircrafts. Similarly, China continues coercing different international organizations to do not recognize Taiwan as an independent nation-state. A clear example is what happened with the World Health Organization during the pandemic and the lack of help provided to the Island due to China’s influence.
Also, it is no surprise that most assume China has the upper hand because Taiwan’s military is less than one-tenth the People’s Liberation Army of Beijing. However, Taiwan has decided to implement mandatory military training to all eligible men and spent an additional $8.7 billion to try to work out the warfare disparities in the long run. Moreover, Taiwan possesses other strategies besides the military attributes that impose a total threat to China as much as a bomb does. The most threatening is the probability of setting fire to the Semiconductor Manufacturing Company to burn down the global chip supply line, causing worldwide economic suffering and tension.
Most international organizations and nation-states find comfort in thinking Taiwan is just going to be an excuse to cause a long overdue showdown between China and the United States. Regardless, the economic importance Taiwan has in the world proves otherwise. By paying attention to the history of the region, preparation proves itself to be key because President Xi Jinping will not stop until the historical task of gaining back the motherland is completed. Consequently, the increasing tensions should be considered dangerous by every country and not deemed as issues in China’s backyard.
The Lingering Shadow of Militarism on South Korea
Of Global Security and Common Destiny
Martha Garcia Torres Landa is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in international relations at the Tecnologico de Monterrey University in Queretaro, Mexico. During her undergraduate degree she has specialized in conflict and peace studies. Likewise, she has taken several creative writing courses and workshops in both Mexican universities and abroad. Her research interests include feminism, social activism, World History and Human Rights.
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In my personal opinion, if Russia continues to control Ukrainian cities and causes a long-term conflict on the side of Eastern Europe, perhaps (China will gain more geopolitical benefits), including doubling the focus of the United States of America with Russia and giving Beijing more breathing space, and here the harsh sanctions will make  imposed by the West, Russia is more economically dependent on China.
 Just as Taiwan’s location in the heart of the “first island chain” in the western Pacific, and considering it as a barrier for Japan, which is Washington’s main ally in the region, is a Chinese threat, so American credibility is at risk in Asia about Taiwan more than it is in Europe regarding Ukraine.
 We will find, in general, that China’s ultimate goal is to (recover Taiwan), and when the appropriate opportunity comes for China, in my personal opinion, China will then (will seek to possess the necessary military capabilities and economic flexibility necessary to deal with the course of events internationally), but most importantly, that  China will probably need to (adopt more flexible tactics so that it can give itself enough room to maneuver and demand an extension of the time needed to negotiate), even if its primary goals are out of reach.
  And the former Taiwanese Defense Minister, “Andrew Yang”, analyzes this Taiwanese situation compared to Ukraine, that China will intensify its media and propaganda campaigns and expand the use of (cyber-electronic attacks, designed to sow doubts about American commitments and strengthen the narrative of the inevitability of Chinese hegemony). Here, there is a link with Ukraine, where China is watching closely how Russia implements hybrid warfare in the Ukrainian interior, and is learning lessons for its use against Taiwan in the future.
 The most important Chinese gains from the Ukraine crisis are (the continuation and increase of joint Sino-Russian pressure, and provoking new crises in several places in the world to disperse the American and Western power of NATO, in order to put pressure on the United States and its partners in other files, such as: (negotiating for the Iranian nuclear file or a North Korea missile crisis or the heavy Chinese presence in the depths of the African continent, Pakistan and others).
 Perhaps China may be able to exploit the Ukrainian crisis in order to (break the policy of American alliances in the “Indo-Pacific” region, and thus negatively erode US sovereignty in the areas of Chinese and Russian influence), and here the invasion of Ukraine may be just a stage to restore full Russian influence on its lands and areas of direct influence of the territorial control, and the next stage may include the control of Taiwan.
  The truth is that the war between Russia and Ukraine within Ukraine itself is not over yet, and whatever the outcome of the Ukrainian crisis, China has already learned important lessons, and they may be applicable to any actual crisis regarding Taiwan, then (we can see the same tactical scenario that took place  Russia applied it in Ukraine on the other Asian shore in Taiwan by China in defense of its sovereignty in the face of the policies of NATO and the United States of America).
 Also, the American pressure paper by imposing and using threats of economic and financial sanctions imposed on Russia, which was actually announced by the United States of America and its allies in NATO and the West, may (give China in the future a practical lesson, regarding the development of a mechanism and a future vision to assess and study all economic risks in the event of an outbreak of a war on Taiwan), President “Putin” has previously tried to protect Russia from such sanctions by (isolating the dollar from Russian trade, hoarding hard currency, and diversifying markets for Russian energy exports).
  There is a view in Chinese think tanks about the extent of the Russian readiness to protect its economy, especially (the extent to which the Russian side secured the basic sources of technology before the start of the Ukraine war), and this is the basis for winning any war with the Chinese, as well as (China’s employment of cyber and technological sources of power externally as one of the  China’s foreign policy objectives), and we will note here the extent to which the Chinese monitor the movements of Russian President “Putin” using cyber-technological power in Ukraine and the extent to which he is able to do so, and even how the West and the United States of America responding to them.
 The Ukrainian crisis made Chinese President “Xi Jinping” and the leaders of the Political Bureau of the ruling Communist Party more determined to proceed with (increasing China’s internal dependence on domestic growth and technological self-sufficiency), although such a path would greatly harm the economic efficiency in the future is not to diversify from outside technology sources.
  Chinese think tanks believe that: (the only tactical mistake of Russian President “Putin”), which future Chinese leaders should avoid is Putin’s request regarding (obtaining a written guarantee from the United States of America and NATO on security in Russia’s immediate vicinity). This is a very inflexible request.  And based on Putin’s failure to achieve his purpose, he was forced to start a war that might not fully serve Russia’s strategic purpose, which is to restore Russia’s sphere of influence without launching a conflict.
   Hence, the Egyptian researcher concludes that there is a misconception by American officials regarding their correct vision in differentiating between Sino-Russian military relations and China’s broader foreign policy tracks toward Russia in the first place. China and Russia are not military allies unlike the alliance of the joint NATO countries, meaning:
  “When one side – whether Chinese or Russian – is at war, the other party does not have any treaty or legal obligation to assist in the event of war, in contrast to the military alliances between the United States of America and the states of the NATO”
  Hence, we find that China is not obligated to support Russia, as is the case between Washington and NATO countries. China has some autonomy over the Russian military confrontations against Ukraine, as is the case in the Chinese side’s reluctance to publicly support Russia’s position during the “Crimean War crisis” in 2014.
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Neither CPC leaders nor China’s state-sponsored international affairs think tank scholars indicated before February 24 if they had any idea of unpredictable and cascading consequences an actual Russian war on Ukraine would unleash. As Vladimir Putin appears certain of having abandoned any prospects of a diplomatic settlement to the Ukraine war – now into its third month – Beijing is suddenly looking clueless on how to deal with the graveness of the post Ukraine war “new” world?   
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The now “infamous” February 4 Xi-Putin joint statement “friendship between the two states [China and Russia] has no limits” has been interpreted, among other things, as President Xi’s full endorsement to President Putin’s “special military operation” in Ukraine. As the Kremlin’s war on Ukraine enters its third month, there are clear signs Beijing’s failure to anticipate the genocide-like war crimes being carried out on the Ukrainian people by the Russian military actions, is forcing the Chinese leadership to consider the political costs for China to continue to support President Putin. As one international politics expert has recently observed: “The Chinese are unhappy not only because the Russians proved unreliable, but because they prefer stability and order.” Moreover, under pressure in the year of a crucial National Congress of the party, speculations are ripe President Xi may sooner than later decide the “cost is too expensive.”
Fearing the price China might have to pay for supporting Putin, a Chinese scholar has warned: “international situation in the future is going to be quite severe, China must gear up to face it.” Remember, before the Russian military aggression, the widely held belief in China was that as long as China and Russia join forces they can form a strong deterrent to the US and Western bloc forces and can prevent the world being thrown into a chaos. Additionally, some Chinese also believed, just like Russia controls Europe’s energy and food supply, China too must strive to develop its economy and deeply integrate with the interests of the US and the Western bloc. This would ensure China’s peaceful rise due to time being on China’s side, they argued. However, the reality has turned totally different now.   
Chinese Diplomacy’s Slippery Stance
Chinese diplomacy’s slippery stance over the ever-escalating Russian invasion in Ukraine is best described as haphazard and higgledy-piggledy. On the one hand, China has unyieldingly refused to condemn Russian military aggression. At the same time, China not only defended and endorsed Ukraine’s right to defend sovereignty as sacrosanct but it also offered to mediate a peaceful, diplomatic settlement between warring Ukraine and Russia. What is seen as most bizarre is Wang Yi telling his Ukrainian counterpart recently “it is China’s historical and cultural tradition and consistent foreign policy to uphold peace and oppose war.”
Even President Xi Jinping has been found lacking in clarity and conviction on China’s hodgepodge stance throughout the crisis in Ukraine. Perhaps Xi didn’t bother and left it entirely to his “bosom buddy” Putin to go ahead and do whatever was “good” for Moscow. There is another likely possibility, i.e. Xi and Putin might have called each other “bosom buddy” and “dear friend” respectively, but they don’t seem to enjoy the “friendship-luxury” to either inform each other of their respective actions/decisions on Taiwan and South China Sea on one hand, and on Central Asia and Eurasia on the other hand. As a Japanese China-watcher Kawashima Shin observed recently: “[Xi and Putin] may be close but are not too close. It should be stressed, however, that China and Russia are not allies.”
China Lost Its Way
It is of great significance to recall that in the reform and opening up era of the past four decades, Beijing exercised utmost caution and considerable restraint on international   issues of conflicting nature. Examples abound when China was careful not to be perceived in Washington as “belligerent” or “hostile” to the US interests – Gulf War, Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) or even on the North Korean nuclear issue, including the recent Trump-Kim Jong-un. This Chinese behavior has been described as the result of “gauging correlation of forces.” As, at the height of ongoing US-China hostility, an international defense analyst Michael T. Klare, citing PRC-Taiwan escalating tensions wrote: “Despite claims to the island of Taiwan, China has so far avoided any direct move to seize it by force and risk a full-scale encounter with potentially superior US forces.”    
Furthermore, in the absence of evidence that Putin had warned Xi during the two leaders’ “Olympics” summit about what was to come, various explanations are being offered by analysts in order to understand China’s changing stances on the Russian aggression between February 24 and now. One, China initially backed the Kremlin military action as Beijing views Russia strategically important in the context of unending US-China rivalry. Second, though China might have been caught off-guard with the “sudden” Russian military action, but for strategic reasons it chose to stand firmly by Russia. The third is China hoping that the Russian war in Europe would lead to both divisions in the European Union and a Europe divided in its support to the US. Therefore, Biden’s strategy to mobilize and unite the European allies to “stop” China would fail. And the fourth factor, perhaps more important than the previous three, was exclusively aimed at the domestic political constituency in the year of the crucial National Congress of the Party. That is, as against the recent isolation of China by the Western bloc, China’s strategic partnership with Russia is “rock solid.”
China’s Higgledy-Piggledy Assessment    
Within days following the Russian military action in Ukraine, it started becoming clear to China that Beijing had seriously underestimated the “ferocity” of the US and European reaction to the Russian assault. At the same time, it was becoming apparent that the CPC was gravely mistaken in overestimating the Russian military capability to keep the “assault” short-lived. The following factors seem to have led China to scale down from its firm support to Russia in the initial days to slip into a confused and chaotic stance a few weeks later. One, not only the Chinese miserably failed in their intelligence inputs on the massive Russian military buildup on Ukraine borders, but when the Biden administration shared information, Beijing pitiably regurgitated Moscow’s assertion that Western intelligence was a mere propaganda.
Second, it is being argued that China’s leaders are quite unhappy not only because the Russians proved unreliable but also because their “bosom buddy” proved militarily and politically incapable in Ukraine, especially as the Ukrainian resistance is becoming formidable. Third, China does not want to damage good trade ties with the West, particularly with the EU and with the large economies in Europe. More so because repeated epidemic lockdowns are already threatening a 5.5% growth target becoming seemingly unrealistic and unachievable. Fourth, China appeared to have been caught in a bind as it believed just like in the Crimea eight years ago, this time round too Russia was carrying out a “rescue mission” in Donbas region. This explains why China didn’t display exigency in evacuating thousands of its own nationals stranded in Ukraine. Fifth, last but not least, already feeling frustrated and awkward by miscalculating the Russian game-plan in Ukraine, the Chinese leaders wisely started to “abruptly change” their apparent eagerness to broker a peace? As mentioned, this year being the year of the crucial twentieth CPC national congress, given the unreliability of the Russians, the Chinese leaders were not at all in a mood to risk a failure in mediating.
Wang Yi: Wars End Eventually
In short, it is common knowledge that it is not in the nature of the CPC or its leadership to admit its faulty assessment or tactical miscalculations. Yet it is sufficiently apparent from the debates in China that decision makers in Beijing seriously misjudged the Russia-Ukraine war as a “good” war for China. In a telling op-ed article on May 1, which attracted an unusually high readership running into over half a million in less than 24 hours, Professor Yang Guangbin, Dean, School of International Studies, Renmin  University wrote, as if to alert the leadership: “The Ukraine war has greatly weakened Russia. As a result, the US/West have entered a highly incompatible security environment with Russia. The impact of such a grave situation on the US-China relations is not going to be easy to gauge.”
Imagine, then, in the face of alleged rising humanitarian crimes being carried out by the Russian forces against the civilians in Ukraine and in the backdrop of top Russian officials continuing to speak on the use of nuclear weapons, how anxious the Chinese leaders would be in the year of the crucial national party congress about the merits of continuing support to Russia? It is perhaps under such pressure Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi, otherwise known to be astute and insightful, made a most amusing remark, which surprisingly went unnoticed in the world media, in his online meeting with the Ukrainian foreign minister: “wars end eventually.” (My emphasis)
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Chinese policies aim to coordinate with their Russian counterpart and President “Putin” and send a message to the United States of America, the West and NATO regarding (their mutual desire to continue preserving the surrounding regional environment and ignite the nationalist sentiments of their citizens in the face of the American and Western policies of NATO hegemony in their areas of direct sovereignty).
 It will become clear how keen China and Russia are to intensify their cooperation together in order to preserve their national identity. At a time when Russian President Putin has directed his intolerance of violating Ukrainian sovereignty in Russia’s immediate regional neighborhood, the ruling Communist Party in China will also not accept the secession of Taiwan, which it considers the CPC is part of China’s sovereign territory, or as the Chinese call it “reunification” as one of the main objectives of Chinese foreign policy.
 Beijing refused to agree to the sanctions imposed on Russia, in the lengthy meeting held in the Italian capital, “Rome” on March 17, 2022, which took place between the US National Security Adviser, “Jake Sullivan”, and the senior Chinese foreign policy official, “Yang Jiechi”. Here is the Chinese viewpoint, that (weakening Russia as a close ally of it will undermine and limit Chinese moves towards the Taiwan side in the future).
 The most important Chinese calculations emerge from Russia’s war against Ukraine, through (the Chinese expectation that President “Putin” will use the influence of Russia and China together in the Sea of ​​Okhotsk in northern Japan), through the presence of nuclear-armed submarines for Russia, which are those submarines (designed to attack the United States). And this explains, according to my analysis of the scene, the extent of the joint Sino-Russian determination to (conduct joint naval maneuvers and display their military power and increasingly joint exercises in the Sea of ​​Japan), which I considered as a “joint Sino-Russian deterrent message to Japan for not joining the ranks and the front”. The United States of America and NATO forces militarily.
 We find here leaks of several intelligence reports that confirmed that: “China was prior knowledge of the Russian military operation against Ukraine, so Beijing asked senior Russian officials to wait until the end of the Beijing Olympics before starting the attacks”, while the Chinese embassy in Washington denied the validity of these intelligence reports, stressing that:
 “The allegations made in those intelligence reports were just baseless speculation, and mainly aimed at shifting blame and discrediting China”
 China affirms the principle of refusing to interfere in the internal affairs of countries, stressing that Ukraine is part of Russia’s spheres of influence and direct sovereignty over its lands and direct borders. We will find here an analysis of the assertions of “Liu Xiaoming”, a prominent Chinese diplomat, that: “China has “never invaded other countries or participated in proxy wars”, but at the same time China is committed to the path of peace.
The Chinese fear remains that Russia’s war against Ukraine may extend to Europe and harm China’s economic interests with it. Chinese officials rejected US President Joe Biden’s statements that: “he does not accept any red lines on Ukraine”. Here, China was interested in analyzing the position of the former US intelligence officer “John Colfer”, analyzing that:
“Russia’s annexation of parts of Ukraine, or the invasion and seizure of Kyiv, violates China’s position that sovereignty is sacred”
 We will note, however, the extent of China’s insistence on being neutral in the Ukrainian crisis, with Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin refusing to condemn the invasion of Ukraine, or even referring to what is happening there as an invasion with the official Chinese assertion that “it still recognizes Ukraine as a legitimate country”, but China has not yet officially commented on (whether Beijing will recognize the breakaway republics of eastern Ukraine “Donetsk and Luhansk” or not)?
  We will find that Beijing’s attempt to claim Taiwan by force has become closer in the near future, not because there is a direct link between “Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and Beijing’s threat to Taiwan”, but because the Russian war against Ukraine is (the worst indicator in the world of the real slow gradual trend of repartitioning  Global geopolitics starting with Russia and its ally China).
 In my daily follow-up to the official and public Chinese state media, I found the extent of China’s constant keenness to publish and broadcast periodic messages to the West and Washington, by publishing regular daily Chinese reports on the situation in Ukraine, but at the same time it refuses to describe the Russian military operations as a (Russian war or invasion against Ukraine, rather, considers it to be within Moscow’s internal affairs), in which the world has no right to interfere, as is the case with its position on Taiwan.
 We will note here that after the end of the (annual session of the National People’s Congress) from 5-11 March 2022, many questions were directed to “Li Keqiang”, the Chinese Premier, who is similar to the premiership, responses and comments came by  “Li Keqiang”, for a large number of questions asked by journalists, most of those questions revolved around the Chinese vision of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. We find that the Chinese premier focused in his answer on the need to avoid escalation of tensions or the crisis getting out of control.  However, “Li Keqiang” expressed China’s official position in not criticizing the Russian invasion of Ukraine, by emphasizing (China’s consistent rejection of the principle of Western sanctions imposed on Moscow, which may harm the global economy as a whole).
 Analyzing the Chinese media, I was able to accurately note the commitment of all the official Chinese media to repeat the same Russian point of view in the responses and defenses of itself in the integrity of its stance against Ukraine, such as: “The Ukrainians set fire to their nuclear plant” or “Ukraine is allied with  NATO is against our interests”, and so on.
 The most prominent Chinese analyzes on the Ukrainian-Russian crisis came in Chinese press reports, including the Chinese “Global Times”, where accusations were made against the United States of America, that: “it profits from selling weapons and military supplies to Ukraine, so it is in its interest to fuel the conflict and spread lies”.
 China has formally accused the United States of deliberately (publishing many misleading information about the Ukraine crisis to discredit China globally).
 Bearing in mind that the Russian media in China have a strong presence in Beijing, and they have almost the same orientations as the Chinese media, such as: (banning most foreign news websites or imposing severe censorship on them). In addition to the continuous Chinese follow-up to the Russian media, for example, the number of Chinese followers of Russian news sites such as Sputnik has reached about 12 million followers on the famous Chinese “Weibo” site such as, YouTube, and the Chinese media always report many news and other sources, especially during its coverage of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
   From here we arrive at that, there are broad strategic gains for Beijing from the current war, the first of which is the hypothesis of the possibility of Moscow’s infection spreading to Beijing in its dealings with Taiwan, that is, launching a war to restore it, as well as China’s realization that it will be a target for NATO in the future, as is the case with Russia at the time  Currently, Beijing is also strengthening its relationship with Moscow through partnerships and alliances, as it realizes Moscow’s bet on it to reduce the effects of economic sanctions.
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