GOP Rep: Russia’s struggles with Ukraine may have deterred China from invading Taiwan

Breitbart News reports one GOP House representative as suggesting that China might be holding off on its invasion of Taiwan because of the struggles that Russia has faced in its invasion of Ukraine. 

The suggestion was made by Rep. Gary Palmer (R-AL). It came during Palmer’s recent appearance on Mobile, Alabama’s radio FM Talk 106.5.

Pumping the breaks

Palmer began by stating that, in his opinion, the threat of China invading Taiwan still “looms.” But, he went on to explain why he thinks that China “might be rethinking their strategy,” and part of the reason is the lack of success that Russia has had in Ukraine.

Palmer said:

Like most people, I’m sure, the Chinese anticipated that the Russians would roll right through Ukraine. And, it is a disaster for Russia. I think their causality count now is over 20,000. I think the Taiwanese would fight as well as the Ukrainians have. They do not want to live under the dictatorial rule of Xi Jinping and the communist party of China.”

Palmer, though, opined that it is not just this that might be holding the Chinese back. He suggested that also playing a role is the world’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

He added:

The other thing, though, that I think should be instructive to China — everybody is aware of the sanctions that have been imposed on Russia. Those have had an impact. But the thing that is going to do the most damage to Russia is all of these North American and European companies pulling, pulling out their investments, shutting down their businesses. And, the long-term impact on the Russian economy is going to be extremely severe.

“I don’t think China wants that,” Palmer added. “There are trillions of dollars of just U.S. investment in China. If those were to be pulled out, it would do extraordinary harm to China.”

Background

China has threatened to invade Taiwan for many, many years now.

In China’s view, Taiwan is part of its territory, and, over the years, it has tried to make this clear by, for example, flying warplanes into Taiwan’s airspace. Taiwan, on the other hand, gained independence from China in 1949, and it is looking to maintain that independence.

What has held China back from invading Taiwan, at least in part, are the agreements that China has with Western governments. The Biden administration, for example, abides by the “one China” agreement, wherein the U.S. government will not recognize Taiwan’s sovereignty so long as China remains peaceful toward Taiwan.

Many experts, though, thought that China would be emboldened enough by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to invade Taiwan.

Whether Palmer is right, that this is because China has been deterred by the struggles that Russia has faced, remains unclear.

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