After Crimea was declared to be annexed from the Ukraine by Russian president Vladimir Putin, many people began to wonder if Taiwan could be the next country to fall to a global superpower. The similarities of the situations cannot be denied. Both the Ukraine and Taiwan are smaller countries which have lived with close, yet strained, relations to much larger, stronger countries. Other similarities such as both countries’ weak economies, corrupt politics, and steadfast protests have been noted. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that China will follow Russia’s lead and push for an invasion.
There are many factors for China to consider, but due to the United States’ lack of action when it came to the Ukraine and Syria, it is unlikely that the fear of backlash is one of them. By invading and reclaiming Taiwan, the Chinese government would make a bold statement that would solidify themselves as a militant power. However, the threat of war, damage to the economy, loss of lives, and loss of respect from the global community as a whole could be enough to motivate them to attempt to resolve things peacefully. But throughout history, countries are not known for thinking of the well-being of their population when it comes to starting wars and claiming territory.
Russia may have set the precedent for this one in modern day society. No one could have really expected that they would not heed the advice of the global community for the sake of Crimea, and yet they did because the repercussions was not enough, and Putin knew that. If China knows that they can get away with the same thing without punishment, we may see a very different political climate throughout the globe in the near future.
If China did invade Taiwan, the implications could go much deeper. It could take us back to a time when countries freely invaded each others’ borders without any repercussion, claiming what they wanted for self-gain with little thought to the pain and suffering of the population. Only time will tell if China will decide to follow in Russia’s footsteps, and the world will continue to look on, hoping that it does not come to that.