Aid for Ukraine Counters China

CommentaryOn Feb. 28, China called for more coordination with Russia in the provision of “security” in the Asia-Pacific and supported Moscow’s upcoming presidency of the BRICS countries, as well as new entrants Saudi Arabia, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Ethiopia. This, despite Russia’s profound destabilization of global security and trade through its invasions of Ukraine in 2014 and 2022.After attending just one Ukraine peace conference last August in Saudi Arabia, where Kyiv proposed full withdrawal of the Russian military, including from Crimea, China dropped from the talks. Neither did Beijing accept a formal invitation to a Swiss peace conference. Instead, according to a Swiss intelligence report in June, the war made Switzerland a hub for spies from not only Russia but also China.Beijing sees itself in a “no limits partnership” with Moscow and has duly supported the belligerent, including likely shipment of dual-use military materiel, financial assistance, and calls for greater economic coordination of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa). At the same time, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) allegedly limited critical drone parts to Ukraine, hindering Kyiv’s defense. While Beijing claims to seek peace between the two warring parties, it should be clear to even casual observers the side the CCP has chosen: that of Moscow’s violation of the territorial integrity of a neighboring nation.The good news for U.S. national security is that the CCP’s support for Russia hurts Beijing’s international reputation, leading to strategic losses for America’s most dangerous adversary. For example, Europe and the UK have ceased their relative neutrality toward Beijing and are now joining the United States in sanctioning Chinese companies that allegedly supply Russia with dual-use military materiel.The parallels between the Ukraine and Taiwan situations, which Beijing vociferously deny, have led to greater military readiness throughout the Asia-Pacific among U.S. allies in preparation for a feared Chinese invasion of the island democracy. This makes the Ukraine war a permanent strategic loss for Beijing, regardless of who wins, according to China analyst Minxin Pei. In part due to the war and fears over Taiwan, he writes, foreign direct investment into China plunged. “Moreover, the war has weakened Russia grievously and made it a much less potent ally for China,” he wrote in Bloomberg on Feb. 21.Related StoriesChina also hurt its relationship with Ukraine itself. Previous to the 2022 invasion, China was Ukraine’s biggest trade partner. Now, Beijing is in a public dispute with Kyiv over the latter’s “international sponsors of war” list of firms that allegedly support Russia’s war effort indirectly. The plurality of companies on that blacklist are reportedly 14 from China, including three of its oil majors.U.S. intelligence collection benefited from new cooperation with Ukraine that yielded Central Intelligence Agency forward operating bases near the Russian border and significant electronic data collection from Russia and China.The U.S. arms industry increased its defense exports by 14 percent from 2018 to 2022 compared to 2013 to 2017, while China’s arms exports over the same period fell by 23 percent.“Military aid is a sliver of the federal budget, and more than 75 percent of the [Ukraine-Taiwan-Israel aid] bill the Senate passed would go to U.S. defense jobs, including in Texas, Pennsylvania, California, Florida and Alabama,” notes defense analyst Seth Jones in The Wall Street Journal on Feb. 21. That bill is now stalled in the House of Representatives despite intense bipartisan pressure on Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) during a Feb. 27 White House meeting that included President Joe Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).Yes, the United States is increasingly unable to afford to provide international security for free. Yes, withdrawing aid would incentivize our European allies to increase their defense spending to at least the 2 percent NATO minimum. And, yes, defense spending in Ukraine decreases what is available to defend Taiwan. But all of these issues have solutions if we evolve to meet the threats.The relative benefits to the United States, and the falling stature of Russia and China, yielded by the war in Ukraine, should give pause to advocates of a total cut in U.S. military aid to the embattled European democracy. From a purely realist perspective, the war weakens America’s two most dangerous adversaries—Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin—relative to the United States and our global allies.As noted by Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) on Jan. 30 to his House Select Committee on the CCP, “What was once a smattering of rogue authoritarians causing trouble, today looks a whole lot like an axis led by the Chinese Communist Party. Xi, Putin, Ayatollah Khamenei, Kim Jong Un, and Hamas.” The Taiwan, Ukraine, North Korea, and Gaza situations are linked in that a resounding Ru

Aid for Ukraine Counters China

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Commentary

On Feb. 28, China called for more coordination with Russia in the provision of “security” in the Asia-Pacific and supported Moscow’s upcoming presidency of the BRICS countries, as well as new entrants Saudi Arabia, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Ethiopia. This, despite Russia’s profound destabilization of global security and trade through its invasions of Ukraine in 2014 and 2022.
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After attending just one Ukraine peace conference last August in Saudi Arabia, where Kyiv proposed full withdrawal of the Russian military, including from Crimea, China dropped from the talks. Neither did Beijing accept a formal invitation to a Swiss peace conference. Instead, according to a Swiss intelligence report in June, the war made Switzerland a hub for spies from not only Russia but also China.
.
Beijing sees itself in a “no limits partnership” with Moscow and has duly supported the belligerent, including likely shipment of dual-use military materiel, financial assistance, and calls for greater economic coordination of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa). At the same time, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) allegedly limited critical drone parts to Ukraine, hindering Kyiv’s defense. While Beijing claims to seek peace between the two warring parties, it should be clear to even casual observers the side the CCP has chosen: that of Moscow’s violation of the territorial integrity of a neighboring nation.
.
The good news for U.S. national security is that the CCP’s support for Russia hurts Beijing’s international reputation, leading to strategic losses for America’s most dangerous adversary. For example, Europe and the UK have ceased their relative neutrality toward Beijing and are now joining the United States in sanctioning Chinese companies that allegedly supply Russia with dual-use military materiel.
.
The parallels between the Ukraine and Taiwan situations, which Beijing vociferously deny, have led to greater military readiness throughout the Asia-Pacific among U.S. allies in preparation for a feared Chinese invasion of the island democracy. This makes the Ukraine war a permanent strategic loss for Beijing, regardless of who wins, according to China analyst Minxin Pei. In part due to the war and fears over Taiwan, he writes, foreign direct investment into China plunged. “Moreover, the war has weakened Russia grievously and made it a much less potent ally for China,” he wrote in Bloomberg on Feb. 21.

China also hurt its relationship with Ukraine itself. Previous to the 2022 invasion, China was Ukraine’s biggest trade partner. Now, Beijing is in a public dispute with Kyiv over the latter’s “international sponsors of war” list of firms that allegedly support Russia’s war effort indirectly. The plurality of companies on that blacklist are reportedly 14 from China, including three of its oil majors.
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U.S. intelligence collection benefited from new cooperation with Ukraine that yielded Central Intelligence Agency forward operating bases near the Russian border and significant electronic data collection from Russia and China.
The U.S. arms industry increased its defense exports by 14 percent from 2018 to 2022 compared to 2013 to 2017, while China’s arms exports over the same period fell by 23 percent.
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“Military aid is a sliver of the federal budget, and more than 75 percent of the [Ukraine-Taiwan-Israel aid] bill the Senate passed would go to U.S. defense jobs, including in Texas, Pennsylvania, California, Florida and Alabama,” notes defense analyst Seth Jones in The Wall Street Journal on Feb. 21. That bill is now stalled in the House of Representatives despite intense bipartisan pressure on Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) during a Feb. 27 White House meeting that included President Joe Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
.

Yes, the United States is increasingly unable to afford to provide international security for free. Yes, withdrawing aid would incentivize our European allies to increase their defense spending to at least the 2 percent NATO minimum. And, yes, defense spending in Ukraine decreases what is available to defend Taiwan. But all of these issues have solutions if we evolve to meet the threats.

.

The relative benefits to the United States, and the falling stature of Russia and China, yielded by the war in Ukraine, should give pause to advocates of a total cut in U.S. military aid to the embattled European democracy. From a purely realist perspective, the war weakens America’s two most dangerous adversaries—Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin—relative to the United States and our global allies.

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As noted by Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) on Jan. 30 to his House Select Committee on the CCP, “What was once a smattering of rogue authoritarians causing trouble, today looks a whole lot like an axis led by the Chinese Communist Party. Xi, Putin, Ayatollah Khamenei, Kim Jong Un, and Hamas.” The Taiwan, Ukraine, North Korea, and Gaza situations are linked in that a resounding Russian defeat would most likely slow the other threats, including the CCP’s plans for an invasion of Taiwan and Iran’s sponsorship of terrorism that targets U.S. military personnel globally.
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Increased American reticence to fund Ukraine has already put Brussels, Berlin, and Paris on alert to the need for more defense spending. While a new agreement with Europe over transition of Ukraine funding is reasonable, as would be a middle path of splitting a decreasing amount of funding between Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, entirely pulling the rug from under Kyiv now could lose the war to China’s most powerful ally and, therefore, in the long-term would harm U.S. national security.
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Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

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