China has issued a chilling warning to the world: The ‘worst consequences’ will befall any country that offers military support to Taiwan.
The bold declaration comes just one day after Chinese President Xi Jinping, in a move to mend international relations, participated in diplomatic talks with Australia, according to Sky News.
China’s Ministry of National Defense noted Australia Defense Minister Peter Dutton’s “ideological bias” and added that “no one and no force” could stop the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) from controlling Taiwan, which the CCP maintains has always been part of China.
Dutton vowed that Australia would do “whatever we can” to deter Chinese aggression towards the island nation.
While the world hangs on developments in the Russia – Ukraine war, many have predicted China would use the crisis to make its long-anticipated move on Taiwan.
Earlier this month, Taiwan itself announced plans to up its yearly missile production to 497, more than double last year’s capacity of 207, according to Reuters. Amid escalating tensions and repeated fly-overs from Chinese military planes, Taipei last year approved $240 billion ($8.6 billion) in extra military spending.
Taiwan has good reason to worry.
As the Olympic Winter Games kicked off in Beijing, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Xi entered into a “no limits” partnership, cementing their support of each other over the subjects of Ukraine and Taiwan and pledging their united stand against the West. At the summit, Putin backed Xi’s claim that Taiwan is an “inalienable” part of China and announced a new $117.5 billion gas deal with the Communist nation, Reuters reported at the time.
While publicly, Xi has called the Ukraine situation “deeply worrying” and has urged Russia and Ukraine to engage in peace talks, it has also refused to condemn Russia’s aggression and has repeatedly voiced its opposition to what it perceives as illegal sanctions against its ally, according to Al Jazeera.
In February, experts warned that China is closely monitoring the world’s reaction to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine for “any sign of weakness.”
Heino Klinck, former deputy assistant secretary of defense for East Asia under former President Donald Trump, told Fox Digital, “They have done the calculus as to what this would ‘cost them’ if they were to move against Taiwan. And they are getting more data points now looking at what the West is doing now vis-à-vis Russia.”
“It will inform and potentially shape Chinese decision-making,” he continued. “Any sign of weakness… will be taken into account by the Chinese.”
And as many have pointed out, President Biden and his administration’s response to Russia has, in fact, been weak.
"NOBODY is competent in this administration when it comes to foreign policy, so we're stuck with who we have. And the sad part is we're stuck for 3 years with this" @RickSantorum on @newsmax discussed VP Harris' speech in Poland & Biden's weak response to the #RussiaUkraineCrisis pic.twitter.com/L6y62NbPR6
— PatriotVoices (@Patriot_Voices) March 11, 2022
But perhaps the news for Taiwan isn’t all bad.
As Bloomberg recently reported, after two weeks of fighting, “Vladimir Putin’s war looks more like a deterrent to Xi Jinping than a road map.”
With heavy casualties and a determined Ukrainian military and civilian response, Putin’s war “sends a signal to China that it won’t be as easy to take Taiwan as it imagines,” according to Lin Chu-yin, a ruling-party lawmaker and former television news anchor in Taiwan. “And it also breaks the myth that one can easily defeat another smaller or militarily weaker country with missiles.”
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