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China will feel emboldened in its aggression against Taiwan after Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, experts say.
Taiwan reported sending fighter jets to warn nine Chinese planes that flew into its defensive airspace on the first day of the Russian invasion. China has carried out similar flybys in the past, but the timing remains remarkable.
James Anders, former deputy assistant secretary of defense for policy under President Trump, told Fox News Digital that China will be watching “carefully” to see if Russia suffers “significant and lasting consequences” from its action in Ukraine. and how the United States reacted.
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“I think there is a real risk that China will conclude that the concrete actions of the United States in response to Russia’s invasion fall somewhat short of its rhetoric,” Anderson said, noting that Biden had promised “swift and severe sanctions” but has not yet invoked the toughest economic measures. punishments against Russia.
“Everyone is nervous – and understandably – about what’s to come here, but I’m just concerned here that China is learning some of the wrong lessons here and its leaders may consider Administrator Biden’s response is more show than substance,” he added, noting that China will not make quick decisions about invading Taiwan, but will certainly make “cold-blooded calculations about the resolve and ability to action of the United States in international crises”.
And Dean Cheng, senior fellow at the Center for Asian Studies at the Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy, agrees that the US response to Russia may prove too soft to deter China from similar actions against Taiwan. .
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“I don’t think what you’re seeing is in any way surprising, unless you’re someone who oddly bought into this idea that China was suddenly going to oppose Russia,” Cheng told Fox. NewsDigital. “I think there’s been a lot of wishful thinking over the last year or for Russia to be deterred, Russia doesn’t really want a war, and we’re going to see the exact same thing if and when Taiwan becomes a problem .”
“The first lesson in all of this should be to stick your head out of the clouds and step into a world where the sky is blue and not a pretty chartreuse pink,” he added.
The most significant difference between the European and Indo-Pacific theaters is that the United States has the NATO alliance to act as a deterrent against Russian action in several countries – an alliance that Russian President Vladimir Putin feared Ukraine would join, bringing the alliance a greater presence along Russia’s western border.
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The United States does not have a similar unifying alliance in the Indo-Pacific theater, but instead maintains a series of strong bilateral security treaties with countries like South Korea, Japan, Australia and Taiwan. , the last of which is enshrined in the Taiwan Relations Act of 1989. .
But Cheng thinks European forces would be less effective and more cautious in an Asian theater of operations, noting that NATO has refrained from direct action to stop the invasion of Ukraine, which borders a number of NATO allies.
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“What do you think they bring to the table – and that leaves out the question of why would they come?” Cheng argued. “If they are not coming to Ukraine, which borders several NATO allies, in flagrant violation of a number of formal commitments signed by all the treaties – the Helsinki agreements, Minsk as well – why would we assume that our European allies are fighting and dying for Taiwan when there is no commitment?”