Military lessons from Russia’s failures in its war on Ukraine will make the communist regime in Beijing more cautious about Taiwan, possibly delaying its invasion plan by years.
“Beijing is learning from Russia’s combat experience, Ukraine’s resistance, and global sanctions to deduce the possible situation of a conflict in the Taiwan Strait,” Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council said in a March 30 statement following a meeting.
“The Chinese Communist Party will not abandon its plan to seize Taiwan by force,” the island’s senior China policy advisers were cited as saying during the meeting on the Ukraine war.
Russia-Ukraine was “a great lesson for China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA).” Russia misjudged the war situation, did not properly analyze intelligence, and its generals were promoted based on personal relationships, not expertise, they said.
“These will also affect [the] CCP leaders’ trust in their army, and they will be more cautious when using force.”
The meeting came amid growing concerns that the Ukraine crisis could embolden the communist regime in China to attack Taiwan, a self-ruled island China claims as its own territory.
While Taiwanese officials reject the parallels between the island and the invasion of Ukraine, the possible impact on its giant neighbor was widely discussed.
Chen Ming-tong, the director-general of Taiwan’s National Security Bureau (NSB), told lawmakers in Taipei that Beijing wouldn’t invade the island during President Tsai Ing-wen’s term, which ends in 2026.
“The lesson from the Ukraine war for Beijing is that they shouldn’t easily start a war,” Chen said on March 28.
However, “Should it [Beijing] launch a war, it would be a comprehensive one,” said Chen.
The Chinese regime has escalated military harassment toward Taiwan since last year, continuing to send warplanes to fly near the island on a regular basis. The latest incursion occurred on March 31, when 11 Chinese military aircraft entered Taiwan’s southwest air defense identification zone.
11 PLA aircrafts (KJ-500 AEW&C*1, H-6*2, J-10*4, and J-16*4) entered #Taiwan’s southwest ADIZ on March 31, 2022. Please check our official website for more information: https://t.co/5Gllgbdbh4 pic.twitter.com/VrOEcTFLaN
— 國防部 Ministry of National Defense, R.O.C. ???????? (@MoNDefense) March 31, 2022
While the island reported there are no signs that the conflict is about to happen, Taiwan has ordered its forces to strengthen their combat readiness when the war unfolded thousands of miles away in Ukraine.
Taiwan’s Defence Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng said on March 23 that the government is considering extending the four-month compulsory military service to a year.
Last October, Chiu warned that Beijing would be fully capable of mounting a full-scale invasion of Taiwan by 2025.
Reuters contributed to the report.