Taiwan: Scenarios for an invasion from China
By Enrico Colombatto
May 12th, 2022
Russia’s failures in Ukraine could make China cautious about its designs for Taiwan’s “reunification.” However, Beijing may see reasons to press ahead.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has shown that the quest for personal prestige, historical nostalgia and beliefs in national myths still play a role in shaping international politics. The economy is important, of course, but it is only part of the story in some cases. Indeed, Taiwan may be another victim of the rhetoric of “reunification with the motherland” and Beijing’s need to boost its image with the illusion of an easy gain on the international stage.
Some speculate that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s blunder in Ukraine will make mainland China more cautious. As Ukraine has taught the Russians, reunification is not always welcome – spoiling the aggressor’s plans to present the world with a fait accompli before reactions and countermeasures take force.
There are important differences, however, between Ukraine and Taiwan. The world has recognized Ukraine as an independent nation since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, while many nations – including the United States – do not support Taiwan’s independence and recognize the People’s Republic of China as the sole legal government of China.