If the United States want to avoid a very-possible very-near future war with China over Taiwan, it must stand up now vigorously to Putin and Russia in Ukraine.
First published: March 2022.
In 1936, Adolf Hitler and Germany, in violation of the Treaty of Versailles, militarily reoccupied the Rhineland and the world unofficially appeased it by doing nothing. In 1938, Hitler and Germany invaded Czechoslovakia and the world officially appeased it in the Munich Agreement. As a result of world appeasement in 1936 and 1938, in 1939, Hitler and Germany felt free to invade Poland starting World War 2.
If America wants to avoid a very-possible very-near future war with a particular non-Russian country, it must stand up now vigorously to Putin and Russia in Ukraine making Ukraine a final straw Poland and not an appeasement Rhineland and Czechoslovakia that led to World War 2.
It’s gratifying to see how most of the world is working together to avoid the mistakes that led to World War 2. It’s clear to any unbiased observer that Vladimir Putin is using the same lies and distortions of the truth to justify his Ukraine war of aggression, as Hitler used to justify his World War 2 aggression. In 1936, Hitler violated the Treaty of Versailles by militarily reoccupying the Rhineland using the excuse that he and Germany felt threatened by the Franco-Soviet Treaty of Mutual Assistance, a NATO-like defense agreement between France and the former Soviet Union to prevent German military aggression.
In 1938, Hitler used the excuse of protecting the 3 million Germans living in the Sudetenland to invade Czechoslovakia. He falsely claimed that Germans living there were being persecuted and that 300 Germans had been killed. Having successfully invaded the Rhineland and Czechoslovakia with no repercussions from the world, Hitler preceded in 1939 to invade Poland using the excuse that Germany was recapturing land once a part of the German empire. Hitler invading Poland started his downfall and World War 2, but most historians agree that if the world had reacted with defiance at the Rhineland and Czechoslovakia invasions World War 2 would have never occurred.
If economic sanctions are powerful enough to stop Russia from overthrowing democracy in Ukraine, they could be powerful enough to stop China from overthrowing democracy in Taiwan.
In 2022, Vladimir Putin and Russia are using all 3 of the Hitler-lie excuses to invade and overthrow the democratically elected government of Ukraine. Like Hitler’s excuse for invading the Rhineland, one of Putin’s excuses for invading Ukraine is to prevent Ukraine from becoming a member of NATO and entering into a defense treaty, which would protect Ukraine from Russian war aggression. Like Hitler’s excuse for invading Czechoslovakia Putin falsely claims that ethnic Russians living in Ukraine are being persecuted, and like Hitler’s excuse for invading Poland, Putin claims the Russian invasion is justified because Ukraine is territory that once was a part of Russia before the breakup of the old Soviet Union.
And like in 1939 when Hitler had been appeased, in 2022, if America doesn’t do everything possible to not appease Putin, and give 100% support to the military and government of Ukraine to defeat Russia’s autocratic attempt to overthrow and defeat democracy in Ukraine, the United States military might find itself in a war very soon to defend democracy, not with the autocratic lightweight, Russia, but with the world’s autocratic HEAVYWEIGHT China!!!
The world’s two most powerful autocrats have formed a partnership dedicated to converting all of the world’s democracies into autocracies.
During the opening week of last month’s Winter Olympics in China, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and China’s President Xi Jinping met with each other and issued a joint statement. In the joint statement, China said it supported Russia’s rejection of NATO expansion to Ukraine, in other words, green lighting support for Russia to invade Ukraine. And Russia said it supported China’s claim of sovereignty over the independent democracy on the island of Taiwan, in other words, green lighting support for China to invade the Island of Taiwan.
Because Ukraine is a democracy when it is invaded America is spiritually, politically, economically, and socially obligated to support Ukraine, but since Ukraine is not a member of NATO and does not have a defense treaty with the United States when it is invaded, America is not obligated to support or defend Ukraine with its military establishment. However, America does have a hybrid of the traditional defense treaty with the Island of Taiwan. This is why for America to avoid a potential war with autocrat heavyweight China, Putin and Russia must face severe consequences for invading Ukraine, illustrating for China’s President, Xi Jinping, what could be in store for him and China if and when he decides to invade Taiwan.
Since America does not consider Taiwan to be an independent country, but an island of freedom and democracy WITHIN the undemocratic state of China, the defense obligations America has to Taiwan are described as a “strategic ambiguity” in the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA). The ambiguity is meant to stop China from invading Taiwan and to stop Taiwan from declaring total independence from China. If China invades Taiwan TRA does require America to supply Taiwan with weapons of a “defensive character”, it does not require supplying offensive weapons nor does the Act require or forbid American troops from being sent to fight in Taiwan, the Act leaves both the offensive weapon and troop decision to the discretion of the President with the required consent of Congress.
In reality, if China invaded Taiwan, its strategic and economic importance to the United States is so great that it would be impossible for America to sit back and do nothing to defend Taiwan. The Covid-19 virus revealed the economic importance of Taiwan, car production in America and the world has slowed to a crawl because of the lack of microchips manufactured in Taiwan needed for producing cars, due to factory production disruptions caused by the virus.
The threat of a serious economic sanction against China’s Central Bank could be enough to stop China from invading Taiwan and starting a possible war with America.
According to a study by the Center for a New American Security Taiwan produces 90% of all the microchips critical to the functioning of all mobile phones, consumer electronics, cars, and military equipment worldwide. The study discovered that the United States is more dependent on Taiwan’s high-end microchips for its economy and military now than it was on Middle Eastern oil. Before fracking discovered new abundant oil supplies in the United States.
Taiwan has such a monopoly on the highest quality microchips a war game, which was a part of the New American Security study, predicted that China would invade Taiwan just to gain control of Taiwan’s economic importance to the American consumer economy, and the United States military infrastructure. World War 2 Navy Adm. Ernest King spoke to Taiwan’s strategic military importance to America when he described Taiwan as the “cork in the bottle” and control point for the shipping lifelines of Japan, South Korea, and North Korea.
Republicans like Donald Trump and Tucker Carlson who praise Vladimir Putin for invading Ukraine are encouraging China to invade Taiwan and potentially start a war between America and China.
Taiwan’s Minister of Defense Chiu Kuo-Cheng testified before his Congress last October that China probably already thinks it has the military capability to seize Taiwan now but will not right now out of concern for American and world reaction. But Kuo-Cheng warned that he feared China’s concern over invading Taiwan was lessening.
Since China has suffered no backlash from the world for breaking its promise to Britain to allow democracy to exist in Hong Kong for 50 years, its concern over invading Taiwan is probably lessening, making it very important that Jinping and China see strong defiance from America and the world to Putin and Russia over the invasion of Ukraine.
If Russia successfully invades Ukraine with no real consequences it will encourage a future war between America and China over a democratic or autocratic Taiwan.
Both Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin have abused the power of their elected position of leadership to change their country’s constitutions and made themselves dictators for life. They also have agreed with each other to use their dictatorships and the power of their countries, to defeat and convert all the world’s democracies to autocracies. Like Russia’s 2014 invasion and annexation of Crimea, Putin and Russia have always used military might to invade and convert democracies to autocracies. China traditionally uses its economic might in an attempt to economically control countries, but witnessing America’s and the world’s defiance or lack of it to Putin’s and Russia’s Ukraine invasion, could determine whether or not China will militarily invade Taiwan which could determine whether or not America and China will go to war.
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— AUTHOR —
▫ Isaac Newton Farris Jr., Nephew of Martin Luther King Jr, he serves as Senior Fellow at King Center. Growing up in one of the most socially & politically active families has given him a unique perspective on current events.
- Text: This piece was originally published in Isaac Newton Farris Jr’s blog and re-published in PMP Magazine on 5 March 2022, with the author’s consent. | The author writes in a personal capacity.
- Cover: Unsplash/Gayatri Malhotra. - Military Support for Ukraine, Washington D.C. | 1 March 2022. (Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.)