by Giovanni Giacalone

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has repercussions, albeit indirectly, also on Taiwan; it is no coincidence that following the offensive, various media and analytical sites (not least our own) have begun to discuss Beijing's keen interest in the reaction of the United States and NATO to Moscow's offensive, in terms of a possible similar Chinese invasion of Taiwan.

Shannon Tiezzi's article in "The Diplomat", entitled Taiwan Watches Ukraine With an Eye Toward Security at Home, is of interest. Not only does it illustrate Taipei's position regarding Ukraine - inevitably aligned with Washington and open to sanctions against Moscow - but it also indicates two perspectives that may worry Taiwan. The first is that of a real invasion, on which there is, however, a lot of skepticism. First, because there are no signs of a Chinese troop buildup near Taiwan; then because Washington's lack of a strong response in Ukraine is no guarantee that it will not intervene in Taiwan. On the contrary, it could be the opposite: that is, Washington would not be particularly inclined to intervene in Ukraine precisely because it is more interested in the Chinese enemy, as the joint exercises with Taiwan last autumn also demonstrated. It is also necessary to take into account that, while Taiwan is a partner of the United States, Ukraine is not and it is not even a NATO member country.

One aspect that could be more concrete is that of Chinese disinformation towards Taiwan, with the aim of creating internal divisions both socially and politically.

Meanwhile, on February 24 tensions between China and Taiwan had risen following a confrontation between some Taiwanese jets and others sent by Beijing. Two days later, the daily "South China Morning Post" (owned by the Chinese multinational Alibaba Group) published an article relaunching the news of a Chinese aircraft entered in early February in Taiwan's airspace without being detected by the air defenses, highlighting "a serious weakness" of Taiwan's air defenses.

La minaccia cinese e come affrontarla. La tavola rotonda con Dean Cheng

In short: the situation between China and Taiwan certainly remains tense despite the fact that the context is quite different from the Ukrainian one. Both Asian countries are well aware of potential developments in Europe. In the meantime, the media-propaganda war is already underway and it is to be hoped that it will not go beyond that.

Researcher of Centro Studi Politici e Strategici Machiavelli. Graduated in Sociology (University of Bologna), Master in "Islamic Studies" (Trinity Saint David University of Wales), specialization in "Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism" (International Counter-Terrorism Institute of Herzliya, Israel). He is senior analyst for the British Islamic Theology of Counter Terrorism-ITCT, theItalian Team for Security, Terroristic Issues and Managing Emergencies (Catholic University of Milan) and the Kedisa-Center for International Strategic Analysis. Lecturer for security managerlaw enforcement and post-degree courses, he has been coordinator for Italy of the European project Globsec. “From criminals to terrorists and back” and is co-founder of Sec-Ter- Security and Terrorism Observation and Analysis Group.