The Importance To Taiwan Of Ukraine Successfully Defending Itself

Leaders In East Asia Know That Beijing Is Closely Watching What Happens In Ukraine And Successfully Defeating Russian Aggression There Could Be A Powerful Deterrent To Chinese Communist Party Aggression Against Taiwan


SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “Obviously, the biggest issue in the world right now and the most important issue on the floor of the Senate this week is assistance for Ukraine. As I think you know, I, along with Senators Barrasso, Collins, and Cornyn, had an opportunity to visit this past weekend with President Zelenskyy in Kyiv. I think you can report, which you've already reported over and over again, the determination of the Ukrainian people to defeat the Russians, to push them out of Ukrainian territory. All they are asking from all of us is help, and we're providing significant help this week. We're not in this alone. This is not a charitable operation. European countries have contributed mightily, not only in absorbing refugees but in providing arms and support in every way. This is also important to remind those who think we ought to be focusing on Asia, that both the Prime Minister of Japan and the Defense Minister in Japan say the single most important thing we can do to push back against potential Chinese aggression is to help the Ukrainians defeat the Russians in this current conflict. President Xi is watching as this unfolds. What is the message he takes out of this? It needs to be that this kind of aggression is counterproductive and will not produce an outcome that you want.” (Sen. McConnell, Press Conference, 5/17/2022)


Taiwan’s Parallels With Ukraine Are Evident To Many’ And Many Taiwanese ‘Have Expressed Concerns That A Weak Western Response To Russia’s Invasion Could Embolden The Chinese Leadership’

“Taiwan’s parallels with Ukraine are evident to many on this island of 23 million people. Taiwan, like Ukraine, has long lived in the shadow of a large and overbearing neighbor. Both China’s leader, Xi Jinping, and President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia have appealed to nationalistic historical narratives to justify their present-day territorial claims. And Mr. Xi has in recent years intensified his warnings to Taiwan not to seek formal independence from China, similar to the ways in which Mr. Putin had threatened to punish Ukraine if it sought to strengthen security ties with the West, for instance by joining NATO. In Taiwan, the invasion has rekindled debates about the probability of a Chinese invasion, the level of Taiwan’s military preparedness and whether the United States is committed to defending the island. Taiwan is more vulnerable than Ukraine, to some extent, because it is not recognized by most countries as a sovereign nation. For days, the slogan ‘Today, Ukraine, tomorrow, Taiwan!’ has ricocheted online. On Taiwan’s news programs and talk shows, some pundits have said that Beijing could take advantage of a distracted West to step up its pressure on Taiwan. Others have expressed concerns that a weak Western response to Russia’s invasion could embolden the Chinese leadership.” (“Watching the War in Ukraine, Taiwanese Draw Lessons in Self-Reliance,” The New York Times, 3/01/2022)


Taiwanese Leaders: ‘The War In Ukraine Has Made It Clear To The World How Important It Is For Democracies To Stand Shoulder To Shoulder Against Authoritarian Aggression’

CNN’s FAREED ZAKARIA: “Since the -- the Russian invasion in Ukraine, have you heard from democracies around the world? Have you received any kind of messages of solidarity or support?”

JOSEPH WU, Taiwanese Foreign Minister: “In fact, there’s a lot. And it started way before the war started. They know that, if there’s going to be a war over Taiwan, it’s going to be a disaster for the rest of the world. So we are very happy that there’s a growing awareness of the international community to care about the situation Taiwan is in. And beginning from late last year, you have seen waves of visitors come into Taiwan, especially the parliamentarians in Europe. They debated in a parliament and they adopted resolutions in support of Taiwan. And they came to Taiwan to show their support. And it’s exactly like what the American congressmen or senators have done. So we are very happy that the fellow democracies are paying more attention to Taiwan, showing more support for Taiwan. And after the war in Ukraine, if you search on the Internet, two terms come up. One is ‘Ukraine.’ And the second is ‘Taiwan.’ Because people in the world care about Taiwan.” (CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS, 5/01/2022)

BI-KHIM HSIAO, Taiwan’s Representative to the United States: “In the days after Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, Taiwan’s tallest skyscraper, Taipei 101, lit up with the colors of the Ukrainian flag. Rallies in support of Ukrainians have been ongoing in Taiwan. The thousands of miles between our countries have not stopped the Taiwanese people from expressing solidarity with Ukraine. … The war in Ukraine has made it clear to the world how important it is for democracies to stand shoulder to shoulder against authoritarian aggression. As more and more countries are realizing, appeasement is not the path to peace. Taiwan will continue its efforts with the United States and like-minded democracies everywhere to support Ukraine, so that freedom and democracy prevail. … Democracy in Ukraine and Taiwan will prevail, and the arc of history will bend toward liberty in the global struggle against authoritarianism.” (Bi-khim Hsiao, Op-Ed, “Ukraine Has Inspired Taiwan. We Must Stand Against Authoritarianism.,” The Washington Post, 3/24/2022)


Japanese Leaders: ‘Ukraine Might Be East Asia Tomorrow,’ ‘China Has Been Carefully Observing The Current Situation Of Russia’s Aggression Against Ukraine’

“Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has used a visit to London to stress the importance of a resolute international response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in deterring potential future Chinese action against Taiwan. Kishida issued the warning following a meeting with UK prime minister Boris Johnson, who on Thursday also insisted there was a ‘direct read across’ from recent events in Europe to East Asia…. ‘Ukraine might be East Asia tomorrow,’ Kishida told a press conference at the end of his first trip to Europe since he took over as head of Japan’s government in September. ‘We must show there are consequences to the attack, to violence by Russia,’ said the prime minister. A ‘resolute stance’ on Ukraine would help ensure peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, which was ‘fundamental to the stability of international society’, he said. ‘We must collaborate and never tolerate any unilateral attempt to change borders by force in East Asia,’ Kishida said.” (“‘Resolute’ Ukraine Response Vital To Deter China On Taiwan, Japan PM Says,” Financial Times, 5/05/2022)

  • “Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida warned on Thursday that the invasion of Ukraine could be replicated in East Asia if leading powers do not respond as one, saying peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait must be maintained. Kishida, speaking in London via a translator after a meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, said now was the time for the Group of Seven leading nations to solidify its unity. ‘Collaboration among countries sharing universal values becomes ever more vital,’ he said. ‘We must collaborate with our allies and like minded countries, and never tolerate a unilateral attempt to change the status quo by the use of force in the Indo Pacific, especially in East Asia.’ ‘Ukraine may be East Asia tomorrow.’” (“Ukraine Plight Could Be Replicated In East Asia, Japan’s Kishida Warns,” Reuters, 5/06/2022)

“A strong international response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine is critical to deterring China from embarking on territorial conquests in Taiwan or the South China Sea, said Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi. ‘China has been carefully observing the current situation of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and they are paying particularly close attention to what kind of reactions the international community has been taking,’ Kishi told The Post during an interview in Washington on Thursday. The top Japanese defense official, speaking through an interpreter, said the global response will weigh heavily on Beijing and its ‘actions in the Asian region going forward.’ ‘If the international community somehow allows or condones Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, it might send a wrong message that such actions can be tolerated in other parts of the world, including the Indo-Pacific,’ Kishi said. ‘From that perspective, such actions of Russia cannot be tolerated.’” (“Confronting Russia Will Deter China, Says Japanese Defense Minister,” The Washington Post, 5/06/2022)


Foreign Policy Experts: ‘Beijing Is Taking Note Of The Speed And Strength Of The International Response [To Russia’s Invasion Of Ukraine],’ ‘In Some Ways, The Best Way To Deter War And Defeat An Enemy Is To Have Them Conclude That It’s More Difficult Than They Assess’

RYAN HASS, Brookings Institution Senior Fellow: “Beijing is taking note of the speed and strength of the international response [to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.] It is becoming more difficult for anyone inside China to argue that Beijing could subdue Taiwan quickly and without high costs.” (“Taiwan’s Leaders Try To Calm Fears Over Ukraine Invasion, But Citizens Worry Their Island Will Be Next,” The Washington Post, 3/04/2022)

ANDREW NIEN-DZU YANG, former Taiwan defense minister and adjunct assistant professor at National Sun Yat-sen University: “The lessons from the Russia-Ukraine conflict are that Russia was repeatedly emphasizing [pre-invasion] that they needed some kind of protection for Russian strategic interests…. [Beijing] will continue to emphasize … that moving away from China and declaring our independence or conducting a referendum will force China to take action.” (“The GOP Push To Ukraine-Proof Taiwan,” Politico China Watcher, 3/03/2022)

JOHN CULVER, former CIA analyst and former CSIS National Intelligence Officer for East Asia: “If Putin and the Russian General Staff had understood what they were going to face in Ukraine instead of assuming that it would be comparatively easy – like perhaps they think 2014 was – would they have taken this course? In some ways, the best way to deter war and defeat an enemy is to have them conclude that it’s more difficult than they assess; that if China is ever contemplating a war of choice against Taiwan … It affects their assessment of the risk of such an operation and then the course of a war. You know, would it be relatively quick and they could pacify Taiwan, or would they face a multi-decade insurgency? You know, and I said earlier the Chinese are close students of U.S. military operations, and one of those that I think made the Chinese, you know, already have some thoughts on this was the insurgency that we faced in Iraq after successfully overthrowing Saddam; that, you know, for the first time the lights kind of went on in PLA headquarters that it wasn’t just enough to defeat the Taiwan military and secure the beaches, you then had to rule a population of 24 million people. And anything that makes that a more complex or risky undertaking can at least buy Taiwan time. It makes the PLA reassess not only phase one or, you know, initial kinetic operations, but then war termination and then postwar. And all of these, you know, I think, you know, again, push back the idea that as the PLA continues to modernize, as its capabilities relative to Taiwan look even more formidable, whether Xi Jinping or a future Chinese leader contemplates a war of choice like Putin just opted for with Ukraine. I think that also covers the kind of, you know, long drawn-out and whether it would be too risky.” (“Ukraine and Taiwan: Parallels and Early Lessons Learned,” Center for Strategic & International Studies, 3/22/2022)


Republican Senators Have Recognized The Importance Of The Response To Russian Aggression Against Ukraine For The Message It Sends To China About Aggression Against Taiwan

SEN. TODD YOUNG (R-IN): “One step Congress can take is authorizing additional foreign military sales to Taiwan for items like anti-ship missiles to shore up its defenses. Our unified response in Ukraine should send a message of deterrence to Beijing of what will await if they invade Taiwan.” (Sen. Young, @SenToddYoung, Twitter, 3/02/2022)

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL): “It’s in our national interest to make clear to both Putin [and] ultimately China that the United States isn't going to stand by and do nothing if they decide to invade a smaller neighbor.” (Politico, 5/17/2022)

“Sens. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) and John Kennedy (R-La.) have also made the connection between Ukraine and Taiwan with the Wednesday launch of their ‘Deterring Communist Chinese Aggression Against Taiwan Through Financial Sanctions Act.’ The bill, which echoes elements of Sen. Dan Sullivan’s (R-Alaska) S.T.A.N.D. With Taiwan Act, proposes ‘devastating financial sanctions’ against China if it invades Taiwan.” (“The GOP Push To Ukraine-Proof Taiwan,” Politico China Watcher, 3/03/2022)



Related Issues: Russia, National Security, China