The Wall Street Journal reported that the strategic question preoccupying America and its allies today is: What is the impact of the Russian setbacks in Ukraine on Beijing’s aspirations to swallow Taiwan?
Among these questions: Will China be deterred by Russia’s failures in Ukraine and the surprisingly strong Western reaction to the invasion? Or will it draw entirely different lessons, learn from Moscow’s tactical mistakes, and hope to benefit from the eventual depletion of Western military resources?
Writer Yaroslav Trofimov, the newspaper’s foreign affairs correspondent, expected Chinese President Xi Jinping to draw different lessons from what American strategists hope Russia’s failures in Ukraine, and a strong reaction from the West, will deter Beijing from attacking Taiwan.
indicated in article He told the newspaper that the military and civilian leaders in China watched with alarm – during the past 15 months – the transformation of the expected blitzkrieg from Moscow in Ukraine into a long-term process marked by a series of defeats, adding that the Chinese used to admire Russia for its ability to translate violence into political gains, saying that this admiration It no longer exists, and Russia’s military image and credibility have collapsed.
Taiwan war imposes direct US participation
Trofimov said that the answer to the question about the possibility of Beijing retaliating from the Russian experience is very important to America, because a military confrontation over Taiwan, if it erupts, is likely to include the United States directly, and it will be the first in generations against an opponent close to it in terms of strength, which leads to Most likely to huge losses.
To support his expectation that Russia’s experience in Ukraine would not deter Beijing from invading Taiwan, the writer quoted what Cui Tiankai, the former Chinese ambassador to Washington and deputy foreign minister who is still influential in the Chinese ruling establishment, said, “Of course, the war in Ukraine must stop as soon as possible, but whatever An event there should not hinder our efforts for national reunification, it is the goal whatever the international environment.”
Various Chinese beliefs
The writer said that the Chinese believe that the war in Ukraine is not over yet, and that Russia’s defeat is not a foregone conclusion. Despite the series of Western sanctions, the Russian economy did not collapse, and President Vladimir Putin’s regime did not face serious internal challenges even with the high combat losses, and when it comes to Western unity on Ukraine, China and Russia still believe that it will likely collapse sooner or later, perhaps after the elections. US presidency in 2024.
He added that Chinese leaders carefully analyze the Russian war in Ukraine and look at the historical similarities in Chinese and Russian military doctrine and equipment, down to rank insignia, and that one of their possible strategic conclusions is that Russia regressed in Ukraine because it attacked with a very small force, expecting surrender instead of a determined fight. The military lesson for China, they warned, is that Beijing will need to go after Taiwan with shockwaves and massive terror, build up a much larger force and possibly capitalize on the nuclear threat from the get-go, get better and safer communications, more accurate missiles, and more drones.
“If the Russians fail, this does not mean that the Chinese leadership believes that they will fail as well. They may think that Putin is a fool, that the Russians have weakened their army with corruption, and that the army The Russian lacks motivation, while China is fine when it comes to motivation.”