China ‘Watching’ For Us Weakness Amid Russia Invasion Of Ukraine, Experts Warn


Top foreign policy experts told Fox News Digital Thursday that China is “watching” to see how the U. S. and its Western allies handle Russian aggression against Ukraine and whether there is “any sign of weakness.”

“They have done the calculus as to what this would ‘cost them’ if they were to move against Taiwan. And they are getting more data points now looking at what the West is doing now vis-à-vis Russia,” said Heino Klinck, the former deputy assistant secretary of defense for East Asia during the Trump administration.

“It will inform and potentially shape Chinese decision-making,” he continued in reference to the U. S. response in Eastern Europe. “Any sign of weakness…will be taken into account by the Chinese.”

Moscow’s aggression toward Kyiv prompted the U. S. and its Western allies to respond with severe sanctions and the deployment of Western forces to NATO-member nations that surround Russia, Belarus and Ukraine.

Critics of the Biden administration, like former President Trump, have claimed the inability to deter a Russian invasion will “embolden” China to act more aggressively toward Taiwan.

But Isaac Stone Fish, CEO of Strategy Risks, a China-focused risk firm, told Fox News he disagrees with this calculus.

“I think in some ways it’s the opposite,” Stone Fish, who focuses on issues involving U. S.-China national security, said, adding that China could interpret increased military involvement in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict as opportune timing.

“They would calculate that the United States is unlikely to go to war with Russia over Ukraine and China over Taiwan at the same time. The more involved the United States gets in the Ukraine crisis from a military perspective, the more it incentivizes China to act now,” he added.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin have expressed nostalgic desires to rebuild previous empires that were broken up during the 20th century – but experts argue this is where the parallel between the Russian-Ukraine conflict and Beijing’s desire for dominance over Taiwan ends.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has long sought to reunify Taiwan, officially known as the Republic of China (ROC), with mainland China, but this goal has been met with opposition from Western nations like the U. S., the U.K. and Australia.

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Taiwan has been described by Western allies as the beacon of democracy in Asia and identifies as a sovereign nation. But Taiwan is officially recognized by China, the United Nations and the U. S. as part of the one-China policy.

The Chinese government has repeatedly pushed back on questions linking Ukraine with Taiwan and on Wednesday Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said, “Taiwan for sure is not Ukraine.”

“Taiwan has always been an inalienable part of China. This is an indisputable legal and historical fact,” she added.

The experts agreed that pushing a strategy of economic deterrence as witnessed in Europe by NATO would prove much more difficult with an adversary like China.

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