Forget Ukraine, focus on saving Taiwan

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By Bimal Prasad Mohapatra

Finally, Vladimir Putin’s Russian giant waged war on Ukraine, a former republic of the Soviet Union (SU) with a tenth of Russia’s defense budget, ending month-long diplomatic efforts to settle the conflict between the two without a war, and to speculation based on American intelligence that the Russian invasion was only a matter of days. “Historians will debate whether Russia’s war on Ukraine could have been avoided had Biden addressed Moscow’s legitimate security concerns about Ukraine becoming a frontline stronghold between the United States. and NATO against Russia,” said strategic expert Professor Brahma Chellaney.

The Eastern European nation became a sovereign nation after the balkanization of the communist-ruled US in 1991, followed by the abolition of the Warsaw Pact, but it was mainly under the rule of pro-Moscow leaders until ‘in 2019. On the very first day of the war, it was cleared that the aggressor will win the war when other nations, until now, had been with Ukraine giving statements of support, not immediately for physical intervention on behalf of the victim, forget the consequences the aggressor will encounter in the near and distant future due to the West and the choreographed economic sanctions of developed nations according to their pre-war threats.

The United States and the European Union (EU) were very generous in implementing sanctions the very day the war began. This is the most they can do despite the looming energy crisis that EU countries in particular will face if Russia imposes a gas supply ban in retaliation for economic sanctions. EU countries source 40% of their natural gas needs from Russia.

Putin’s Russia will implement its long-desired sanitization of Ukraine and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) military backers outside of its anti-political elements in victim territory, and could balkanize victim geography in a way and type that it will never rise to disobey its big brother Russia, and will never wish to entertain NATO interest for long for any reason , as seen in Georgia since 2008 after the Russo-Georgian war.

The misunderstanding of the US and its allies of the reality on the ground is now very clearly visible, and they are not so pragmatic. Before the war just started, they literally forced Russia to join the Chinese side, perhaps they underestimated the current Russian leadership’s confidence in the country’s military prowess and its leadership’s determination to retain the Soviet-era sphere of influence. And, on the other hand, it seems that the Biden administration of the United States has not yet fully understood the EU’s energy hunger and economic and supply chain dependence on the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the world’s manufacturing hub and currently an ally of aggressor Putin. Russia.

But the aftermath of the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia is the most critical and furious for the geopolitics of the planet, its peace and its stability. It is none other than the aggression of the PRC in its already designated sphere of influence around it in all directions from the borders. And it now virtually occupies the South China Sea and denies the countries bordering the sea to use the resources of the sea, which they have benefited from for centuries, disobeying the international order established in the form of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The PRC or China already has less genuine and largely self-made border disputes – mostly based on unacknowledged and insubstantial historical facts – with all of its neighbors. And has already announced that the island nation of the Republic of China (ROC), just over a hundred kilometers from its east coast, is a renegade territory of China, and has sworn to merge it by force if necessary. Apart from the above, shortly after Xi Jinping was crowned General Secretary of the Communist Party of China and Chairman of the Central Military Commission in 2012, PRC Foreign Minister Wang Yi told his counterparts ASEAN countries, which are too littoral countries of the SCS, that they are small countries compared to the PRC. Shouldn’t this statement be interpreted as telling ASEAN openly that it is part of the Chinese sphere of influence? In the recent past, the Chinese spokesman went so far as to threaten Australia and Japan with N-Warheads missile attacks as they questioned the Middle Kingdom’s secrecy of the origin of Covid19 and trade policies violating international standards. And the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) already present on India’s northern border with full war gear after staging a bloody skirmish with the Indian army as it attempted to seize Indian territory in 2020, throwing one-year agreements on Pangong Tso Lake signed between two countries to maintain peace on the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

Before Putin finally goes to war with Ukraine, he has a one-on-one summit meeting with China’s Supreme Leader Xi Jinping in Beijing for the opening ceremony of the Olympics in Beijing. winter. Long ago, Putin expressed his displeasure with the disintegration of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. if not the type of strategic alliances that NATO member countries have with the United States. A day after the launch of the ongoing attack on Ukraine, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova warned of “serious military and political repercussions” if Finland, located on the border western part of the Russian Federation, joined NATO.

What happened between Putin and Xi Jinping, the two supreme leaders of two powerful military powers in the world with highly dictatorial tendencies, is not known to the outside world. If you-attack-Ukraine-I-will-attack-Taiwan has been decided in principle among them ignoring for the time being the old border dispute between two big neighbors, then an attack on Taiwan in the near future is perhaps not- not be excluded.

Let us reflect in the event that the last possibility – as this author feared – to take root, what would be the form of world geopolitics and the consequences for world peace and stability?

It is certain that without the physical intervention of external forces, Taiwan cannot survive the giant invasion of China, which has a military budget twenty times larger than it. And so far, no power, including the American superpower, has precise defense infrastructure in the island nation to save it from instant attack like the United States has in South Korea, Japan , etc neighbours, in addition to strategic treaties with the latter two. So far, what has been demonstrated are passages of naval combat craft on the streets of Taiwan to establish freedom of navigation and a statement by the American general that their defense forces can come to the aid of a small island nation in case of an attack from China in a short period of time. time if the administration so wishes. Nothing concrete there. The US Taiwan Relation Act of 1978 does not specify what sort of response Washington will use in the event of Chinese aggression to occupy its reported renegade territory which is the Republic of China (ROC) nicknamed Taiwan. Once Taiwan is occupied, America’s image as the protector of the democratic world will be cast forever in the Pacific Ocean as the current leaders of communist China are determined to build modern military power to fight and win wars anywhere in the world. on the centenary of the formation of the PRC in 2049. And China is gradually building its military prowess to achieve this capability.

Now Chinese President Xi Jinping, who proclaimed him supreme leader – so far only Mao Zedong, the founder of the PRC, had this status – has secured his candidate a specific constitutional amendment. to stay in power for life. Similarly, the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, after the Chinese leader, obtained a constitutional amendment specific to his candidate.

Given the concerns discussed above, all concerns are strongly advised to forget about Ukraine and focus now on saving democratic Taiwan from the danger lurking from the monstrous dragon in the Indo-Pacific region.

(The author is Sr. Research Fellow – DRaS & Faculty of Management Studies in TGI. Opinions expressed are the personal opinion of the author. He can be contacted at [email protected])

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