Friday, March 14, 2014

Taiwan watching Crimea with nervous eye toward Beijing

If Russian gets away with irredentist aggression in its Near Abroad, China could be tempted to adopt a similar strategy with Taiwan

Days ahead of a referendum that could result in the loss of the southern territory of Crimea to Russia, Taiwan, which like Ukraine lives in the shadow of a great power, is watching closely to see whether Moscow’s gambit could embolden Beijing to adopt similar strategies toward the island democracy. 

While Crimea serves as an imperfect analogy for Taiwan’s situation, there are enough parallels to warrant an exploration of the current crisis and its denouement to determine if they can possibly create a precedent for Chinese behavior. Key to this effort is the fact that both Moscow and Beijing have notions of the “Near Abroad”—that is, territories that, while foreign and sovereign, their governments regard as fair game.

My article, published today in The National Interest, continues here.

No comments: