March 10, 2022

As Russia presses its attack on Ukraine, the US is watching China's moves around Taiwan 'like a hawk'

Featuring Jacob Stokes

Source: Business Insider

Journalist Christopher Woody

As the US rushes to aid Ukraine and reinforce its neighbors following Russia's attack, US officials have also been watching China closely, looking for signs that Beijing is capitalizing on turmoil in Europe to strike Taiwan.

Beijing regards democratic Taiwan as a breakaway province and has vowed to unify it with the mainland, by force if necessary. Chinese pressure on the island has increased in recent months, most visibly in its military flights into Taiwan's air-defense identification zone, a self-declared area that is not territorial airspace.

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The concentration of power and exclusion of dissenting views that Xi and his inner circle have pursued in recent years may influence their assessments of recent events, creating "ideological blinders," said Jacob Stokes, a fellow focused on US-China relations at the Center for a New American Security.

Russia's military struggles in Ukraine should prompt caution in Beijing, Stokes said, as China's military hasn't fought a war since 1979.

"One takeaway should be for Beijing is that wars are hard and that even a country that that gets to start one at a time and place of its choosing doesn't ultimately get to control the outcome," Stokes said this week.

Read the full story and more from Business Insider.

Authors

  • Jacob Stokes

    Fellow, Indo-Pacific Security Program

    Jacob Stokes is a Fellow for the Indo-Pacific Security Program at CNAS, where his work focuses on U.S.-China relations, Chinese foreign policy, East Asian security affairs, an...