A professor of political science stated that the conflict in Ukraine “heightens” the risk of war with the U.S., China, and each other.
Michael Beckley is an associate professor of political science at Tufts University. He said that China could act on Taiwan while the U.S. was distracted by Russia’s attack in Ukraine. Beckley believes that conflict between the U.S. and China would most likely break out if China, a superpower, took military action in Taiwan.
Beckley is co-author of “Danger Zone: The Coming Conflict With China” and stated that the United States of America (USA) and China “are, I believe, at very great risk for conflict. “Not just economic competition, or ideologic competition but an actual conflict. ”
Beckley said that conflict is more likely because of a slower Chinese economy and rising sentiments in favor of Taiwanese independence.
Beckley said that there is much talk suggesting that China may move on to Taiwan. ”
President Biden made a promise in October to protect Taiwan from an attack by China.
According to the Taiwan Relations Act, the U.S. provides Taiwan with defensive weapons but does not have to provide military support in the event of an invasion from China.
Beckley stated the U.S. has limited resources to protect Taiwan from China because of the conflict in Ukraine.
“If China or Russia are fighting each in their respective regions it’s going to overstretch American forces. They will have both the opportunity to infiltrate their respective regions, and this will increase the likelihood of a conflict over Taiwan in the next decade. ”
Beckley pointed out that Russia and China share mutual interests that are “based geopolitics, energy, and an ideological aversion to the current international system.” ”
Beckley described the trade between China and Russia as a “natural partnership” based on a vital commodity. Russia receives more than half its government revenues from oil and gas sales to foreign countries.
Beckley stated both countries want to “push back against the liberal international order maintained in America and its mostly democratic allies”.
Beckley claims that the Chinese-Russian relations are marked by an “asymmetry in power” because of China’s military might.
Beckley stated that “China’s economy is 10x greater than Russia’s. ”
Beckley stated that Russia is constantly concerned about being the junior partner in the relationship, and China is always worried about getting less. ”
Beckley said that there are schisms in Russia and China regarding geopolitical interests. This includes border disputes, spheres of influence for Central Asia, and other issues.
Beckley claims that Chinese financial interests are against Beijing’s diplomatic support of Russia. Chinese banks have “returned” some transactions between China, Russia in “basic and tacit compliance” with recent sanctions.
Beckley stated China would like to support Russia but not as an ally. It fears being cut off from the West’s economic system.
According to Reuters, China has not imposed sanctions against Russia.
Beckley stated there were three strategic reasons this policy was adopted.
Beckley said that the Chinese are concerned about similar sanctions if they make moves on Taiwan or if the Chinese become more aggressive or just to stir up the fury of the United States and its allies.
Beckley stated China’s institutions could be “caught up in a wider conflict” by abstaining from imposing sanctions.
Beckley said that third, “the more Russia causes problems in Europe, the greater America’s and its allies become bogged down in Europe.” “And this weakens the international system, so China can potentially blast through it if they want to launch its own offensive in East Asia. “