Berlin, Germany (Weltexpress). What is happening in Ukraine is increasingly taking on the character of a proxy war: Europeans and the USA are sending more and more heavy weapons in direction of the Ukraine, which are not put on standby as they were in the Cold War, but immediately used against the Russian war machine to ward off aggression against Ukraine. And for the strategists in the European and American general staffs, this war – macabre as it may sound – is an unexpected source of highly relevant information about the (far overestimated) capability of the Russian armed forces: in view of a future confrontation with NATO (that, let’s hope, will never happen).
The war in Ukraine is not only being followed with the greatest attention in Europe and America – but also at least as much in the Far East, in Taiwan. The European scenario could be repeated here under similar circumstances: it is also about the survival of a young democracy against a powerful, aggressive and dictatorial neighboring state. Especially since China and Russia recently assured each other of their mutual “unlimited friendship”. Fears of invasion are part of Taiwanese reality. Gradually, an identity of its own has formed among the only 24 million Taiwanese. However, Taiwan is only de facto sovereign and continues to call itself the “Republic of China” (ROC).
A year ago, The Economist published an editorial calling Taiwan “The Most Dangerous Place on Earth.” American strategists say a Chinese invasion is likely by the end of the decade. That would not only be devastating for the Taiwanese – the country is the world’s most important chip producer and produces 84 percent of all chips. Like Ukraine, Taiwan is not protected by any defense alliance and it is questionable within the framework of its doctrine of “strategic ambiguity” whether the USA would intervene in the event of an invasion of China. If Washington then fails to activate the Seventh Fleet, China’s position as the leading power in Asia would be sealed. Beijing registers the inadequacies and defeats of the vastly superior Russian armed forces against an opponent who is greatly outnumbered but highly motivated and supported by a western united front. And much as Ukraine’s swamps and forests benefit the defender, Taiwan has a crucial territorial advantage: the 160-kilometer-wide strait that separates the island from the mainland.