Russia-Ukraine War a Reality Check for the CCP

Commentary The ongoing Russo-Ukrainian war and the international community’s reaction to it seem to warn the Chinese regime: There will be disastrous consequences if you act recklessly toward Taiwan. The war has exposed Russian president Vladimir Putin’s serious problems in strategy, tactics, military mobilization, weapons and equipment, logistical supplies, and gaining the Russian people’s acceptance of his actions. Putin will experience a gruelling time if the war and international sanctions continue. Similar to Ukraine’s situation, Taiwan has been under threat from the Chinese regime. A clamor for military invasion of Taiwan within the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) continues with outside media supported by former CCP leader Jiang Zemin urging regime Xi Jinping to promptly order the attack. The CCP should learn a lesson from Russia’s aggression in Ukraine that has sparked a global backlash, and recognize that it will have to bear a far worse fallout if it invades Taiwan. US Sees CCP as the Biggest Adversary U.S. president Joe Biden said in his remarks on the Russian invasion, “Our forces are not and will not be engaged in the conflict with Russia in Ukraine.” Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Jens Stoltenberg also said, “We don’t have any plans to send NATO troops into Ukraine.” Despite various interpretations of the United States and NATO’s statements, I think that the United States has recognized that the CCP is the world’s greatest threat through a litany of incidents. These include, the U.S.-Sino trade war in 2018, violent suppression of the anti-extradition movement in Hong Kong in 2019, the spread of the CCP virus causing a worldwide pandemic in 2020, the adoption of “Wolf Warrior Diplomacy” with the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, India, Lithuania in 2021, and putting “maximum pressure” on Taiwan. During the Trump presidency, the United States saw the CCP as its biggest rival. After Biden took office, although not stated as overtly as the Trump administration, he still regards the CCP as the biggest competitor. As the United States heads the 30 NATO states, NATO’s decision about the need to put boots on the ground in Ukraine is directly affected by the United States. The Russia-Ukraine war is between the two countries as long as the United States and NATO stay out of the conflict. It will not turn into a U.S.-Russia war, a U.S.-Russia-Europe war, or a world war. In the past few decades, the United States has been involved in wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and many other places successively. These activities allowed the CCP to repeatedly dodge a bullet and even profit from the crises. This time, without entrenching itself on the Ukraine battlefield, the United States can make every effort to tackle the CCP. CCP Will Face International Isolation With the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine war, the international community overwhelmingly supports Ukraine and condemns Russia. On March 2, the United Nations (U.N.) Assembly held a special emergency session, where all 193 U.N. member states participated. The assembly adopted a resolution on the situation in Ukraine sponsored by more than 90 countries, including Ukraine. A total of 141 countries voted in favor of the resolution with 5 against and 35 abstentions. Stating disapproval of the invasion in the strongest terms, the resolution demanded that the Russian Federation immediately, completely, and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders, and says that it reserve its decision in recognizing the independence of two separatist regions in eastern Ukraine. A refugee coming from Ukraine carries a dog at the Ukrainian-Romanian border in Siret on March 2, 2022. (Daniel Mihailescu/AFP via Getty Images) In recent years, the top priority of the CCP’s diplomacy has been to develop a strategic partnership with Russia, align with Russia and oppose the United States. The CCP even claimed that China and Russia are not allies but closer than allies. However, the CCP didn’t overtly side with Russia and abstained from voting on the U.N. resolution. In fact, the CCP has become increasingly isolated internationally since the U.S.-Sino trade war. In 2021, the CCP celebrated its centenary in Beijing without a foreign head of state or prime minister attending. The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics were met with a U.S.-led diplomatic boycott that was endorsed by many countries. The CCP invited Putin, the only leader of a great power state, to attend the opening ceremony that cost $79 billion. Leaders of the five Central Asian countries attended the ceremony for the CCP’s offer of $500 million to be paid within the next three years. Argentina’s president was present for investments worth $23 billion. Without financial incentives, there would be very few heads of state or prime ministers who support the CCP. It is conceivable that the CCP may face

Russia-Ukraine War a Reality Check for the CCP

Commentary

The ongoing Russo-Ukrainian war and the international community’s reaction to it seem to warn the Chinese regime: There will be disastrous consequences if you act recklessly toward Taiwan.

The war has exposed Russian president Vladimir Putin’s serious problems in strategy, tactics, military mobilization, weapons and equipment, logistical supplies, and gaining the Russian people’s acceptance of his actions. Putin will experience a gruelling time if the war and international sanctions continue.

Similar to Ukraine’s situation, Taiwan has been under threat from the Chinese regime. A clamor for military invasion of Taiwan within the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) continues with outside media supported by former CCP leader Jiang Zemin urging regime Xi Jinping to promptly order the attack.

The CCP should learn a lesson from Russia’s aggression in Ukraine that has sparked a global backlash, and recognize that it will have to bear a far worse fallout if it invades Taiwan.

US Sees CCP as the Biggest Adversary

U.S. president Joe Biden said in his remarks on the Russian invasion, “Our forces are not and will not be engaged in the conflict with Russia in Ukraine.” Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Jens Stoltenberg also said, “We don’t have any plans to send NATO troops into Ukraine.”

Despite various interpretations of the United States and NATO’s statements, I think that the United States has recognized that the CCP is the world’s greatest threat through a litany of incidents. These include, the U.S.-Sino trade war in 2018, violent suppression of the anti-extradition movement in Hong Kong in 2019, the spread of the CCP virus causing a worldwide pandemic in 2020, the adoption of “Wolf Warrior Diplomacy” with the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, India, Lithuania in 2021, and putting “maximum pressure” on Taiwan.

During the Trump presidency, the United States saw the CCP as its biggest rival. After Biden took office, although not stated as overtly as the Trump administration, he still regards the CCP as the biggest competitor.

As the United States heads the 30 NATO states, NATO’s decision about the need to put boots on the ground in Ukraine is directly affected by the United States. The Russia-Ukraine war is between the two countries as long as the United States and NATO stay out of the conflict. It will not turn into a U.S.-Russia war, a U.S.-Russia-Europe war, or a world war.

In the past few decades, the United States has been involved in wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and many other places successively. These activities allowed the CCP to repeatedly dodge a bullet and even profit from the crises. This time, without entrenching itself on the Ukraine battlefield, the United States can make every effort to tackle the CCP.

CCP Will Face International Isolation

With the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine war, the international community overwhelmingly supports Ukraine and condemns Russia. On March 2, the United Nations (U.N.) Assembly held a special emergency session, where all 193 U.N. member states participated. The assembly adopted a resolution on the situation in Ukraine sponsored by more than 90 countries, including Ukraine. A total of 141 countries voted in favor of the resolution with 5 against and 35 abstentions.

Stating disapproval of the invasion in the strongest terms, the resolution demanded that the Russian Federation immediately, completely, and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders, and says that it reserve its decision in recognizing the independence of two separatist regions in eastern Ukraine.

Epoch Times Photo
A refugee coming from Ukraine carries a dog at the Ukrainian-Romanian border in Siret on March 2, 2022. (Daniel Mihailescu/AFP via Getty Images)

In recent years, the top priority of the CCP’s diplomacy has been to develop a strategic partnership with Russia, align with Russia and oppose the United States. The CCP even claimed that China and Russia are not allies but closer than allies. However, the CCP didn’t overtly side with Russia and abstained from voting on the U.N. resolution.

In fact, the CCP has become increasingly isolated internationally since the U.S.-Sino trade war.

In 2021, the CCP celebrated its centenary in Beijing without a foreign head of state or prime minister attending. The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics were met with a U.S.-led diplomatic boycott that was endorsed by many countries. The CCP invited Putin, the only leader of a great power state, to attend the opening ceremony that cost $79 billion. Leaders of the five Central Asian countries attended the ceremony for the CCP’s offer of $500 million to be paid within the next three years. Argentina’s president was present for investments worth $23 billion. Without financial incentives, there would be very few heads of state or prime ministers who support the CCP.

It is conceivable that the CCP may face more severe international isolation than Russia is experiencing if it invades Taiwan.

CCP will Face the Toughest Sanctions

Among U.S.-led sweeping Western sanctions over the Ukraine war, financial sanctions will have the greatest impact on Russia.

The United States and many European countries decided to disconnect key Russian banks from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) network, a secure messaging system for financial transactions between participating banks. This would undermine the ability of Russian banks to conduct cross-border payments and further hamper its international trade settlements.

Moreover, the United States and the European Union (EU) froze the Russian central bank’s foreign reserves of more than $600 billion. The Russian ruble lost more than 30 percent of its value overnight and is expected to continually depreciate as a result of the freeze.

On March 2, the share price of Russia’s biggest bank, Sberbank, collapsed by 95 percent on the London stock exchange, from $15 to as low as $0.01, with a drop of more than 99.9 percent. Russian oil company Lukoil, one of the world’s largest international vertically integrated oil and gas companies, fell by as much as 95 percent, while Russia’s largest independent natural gas producer, Novatek, plunged as much as 97 percent.

Most notably, “Permanently neutral state” Switzerland follows the EU sanctions on Russia.

On Feb. 28, Switzerland implemented all the sanctions on Russia formulated by the EU and froze assets of 363 Russian individuals and four companies, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

The U.S.-led free world has imposed comprehensive sanctions on Russia. Thus, Russia will be isolated from the global financial and trading system and cutting edge technological cooperation.

To maintain its already stagnant economy, it has been relying on sales of oil, natural gas, and weapons. If the sanctions last longer, they could lead to Russia’s economic collapse.

Considering Taiwan’s crucial strategic position and the sanctions imposed on Russia over Ukraine aggression, the CCP, which has been increasingly isolated by the international community, is bound to have more severe sanctions imposed than Russia if it invades Taiwan.

US Would Come to Taiwan’s Defense

One of the biggest divergences between Taiwan and Ukraine is that Taiwan has a natural barrier—the Taiwan Strait. The strait is 108 miles wide in the north and 216 miles wide in the south, with an average width of 97 miles. It is 68 miles wide at its narrowest point.

Hitler’s troops failed to cross the narrowest 18-mile part of the English Channel to land on the British mainland when sweeping across the European continent in WWII. For the CCP, its huge obstacle to attacking Taiwan lies in the Taiwan Strait.

Epoch Times Photo
A huge crowd gathered in front of the Taiwan presidential palace on Ketagalan Boulevard, attending a “reject the communist media, protect Taiwan’s democracy” event on June 23, 2019. (The Epoch Times)

Taiwan has a strategic position—in the first island chain, the most effective point to counter the CCP invasion assessed by the U.S.-dominated free world—and in the United States’ Indo-Pacific strategy. Taiwan’s pivotal strategic positions directly relate to the security of Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Australia, the Philippines, South China Sea islands claimants, and the United States. The fall of Taiwan would cause a chain reaction that directly endangers the United States. By then, the CCP’s warships can drive straight from Taiwan into the Pacific Ocean and its intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) can be launched directly from Taiwan to the United States’ mainland. For its own sake, the United States will defend Taiwan.

The United States has considered Taiwan a democratic success story, a reliable partner, and a force for good in the world. Under the CCP’s coercion of any kind, Taiwan has still created miracles in terms of democracy, economy, and pandemic prevention in recent years.

For example, Taiwan’s strategic pillar industry, semiconductors, produces the world’s most advanced chips for the highest-tech machinery. This makes Taiwan’s semiconductor industry arguably the world’s most significant. Additionally, the United States has a large demand for chips in cell phones, computers, automobiles, aircraft, aircraft carriers, nuclear power plants, and cutting-edge weapons.

As a proverb says, “God helps those who help themselves,” Taiwan gains assistance from other nations because it has displayed the self-initiative spirit of independence, self-reliance, and self-improvement to the world.

On Oct. 21, 2021, President Biden spoke in a CNN Town Hall in Baltimore. When asked whether the United States would come to Taiwan’s defense if China attacked, he made it clear, “Yes, we have a commitment to do that.”

The present U.S. government has taken concrete actions to express the high importance it attaches to Taiwan’s security. On Feb. 26, the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer of the U.S. Navy patrolled the Taiwan Strait. On March 1, amid the Ukraine crisis, Biden sent former top defense officials, led by one-time chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Michael Mullen, to visit Taiwan.

The United States deploys aircraft carrier battle groups and the most advanced supersonic aircrafts from its most important military base in the Western Pacific: Guam. There are also military bases in South Korea’s Gyeonggi Province, Japan’s Okinawa, and Subic Bay in the Philippines. The United States will send troops from bases such as Guam and Okinawa to assist Taiwan if the CCP invades.

There are two sides to every coin. The unexpected Russia-Ukraine war, on the one hand, is a dreadful disaster for the Ukrainian people; on the other hand, it serves as a warning to the CCP, which foreshadows the consequences it will face if it launches a war against Taiwan.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.


Follow

Wang Youqun holds a doctorate in law from the Renmin University of China. He previously worked as a copywriter for Wei Jianxing (1931–2015), a member of the CCP Politburo Standing Committee, from 1997 to 2002.