Yes, sanctions in response to a PRC invasion would impact the entire global economy, probably triggering a global depression.

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Dec 27, 2022Liked by Michael McFaul

This message needs to be more widely disseminated. I'm starting to hear more comments from elected officials that we need to stop sending so much support to Ukraine and refocus on China, like we can't do both at the same time.

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I’ll do my best!

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Ryan, thanks for your thoughtful comment. Ill respond when time permits. Maybe Ill even write a whole new piece on this theme!

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As someone from mainland China, I have to say that this whole Ukraine and Taiwan comparison is more of a western political narrative than actual reality. however, I do admit that I might

be alittle biased.

1. There is nothing in this world that will convince Beijing to "give up" when it comes to Taiwan. the One China Principle is not a invention

from Xi, it has existed since October 1, 1949, the founding day of the PRC. Mao and Zhou adhered to the One China Principle, the successor of xi's successor will also adhere

(assuming that Taiwan hasent been reunified yet at this point). In the 1950s when the PRC was young and small, president Eisenhower signed a mutual defense treaty with Taipei

and issued nuclear threats against the mainland (look at that, US utilizes nuclear threats as well). Despite all this, Mao did not renounce Chinese sovereignty over Taiwan.

The chances that a Ukranian victory would get Beijing to "back off" on Taiwan is zero.

2. Ukraine is a internationally recognized sovereign and independent state, its territory including donbas and crimea. Ukraine is founding member of the UN.

Internationally, Taiwan is either not officially recognized as a country or is recognized as PRC territory . The chances of Taiwan joining the UN is zero.

3. If you look past the western media narratives, the Xi-Li Administration is actually far more reactive than unilateral when it comes to Cross strait relations.

When ma ying-jeou was in charge of Taiwan, his policy was "One China with respective interpretations". This closed the door on Taiwan independence and

so cross strait relations were at their best in history. Him and Xi even met face to face in a Singapore summit in 2015. After 2016, tsai took power, made taiwan

independence her entire political identity and washington passed hostile laws such as taiwan travel act and taipei act. This would of course justify a response from

the mainland. therefore the source of tensions are taipei and washington. Until a multipolar world arrives where the western hegemony is broken, a potential war

in the Taiwan strait could only come from escalations by taipei and washington.

4. China often studies the pitfalls of Russia. The best example would be Gorbachev and the collapse of the USSR. The war in Ukraine is no different as it offers China

strategic opportunities. Beijing could study the weaknesses in Russian battle tactics, training, equipment and logistics while also studying the effect and strengths of western sanctions.

5. Russia is not internationally isolated. a UN general assembly resolution doesnt mean anything. Whenever there is a vote in the UN regarding the cuba embargo, its usually only

US and israel voting against. is America isolated? Keep in mind only japan, south korea, EU, canada, australia, new zealand,uk and US placed sanctions on russia (not even turkey!)

6. As a side note, your article mentioned Japan joining a potential Taiwan war. This doesnt have the deterrence that washington might think. Chinese people as a whole hate japan.

We have not forgiven or forgotten what japan did to us in WW2. If Japan joins a war to help a Chinese province secede, then nationalism in the mainland will explode. anyone

advocating for peace will be seen as traitors. Tens of millions will willingly join the PLA, tens of millions more will join the war factories. History has show the incredible

might of american manufacturing during WW2. Guess what, China is now the "factory of the world"

7. If we are to assume that your assessment is correct, then would it indirectly imply that it is in Beijing's interest to see Russia win? China could start a lend lease program

with Russia. Mass production of arms and supplies, 24/7 deliveries along the Trans-Siberians railway. the PLA drone program is arguably the second best in the world.

Effective drones could cause havoc on HIMARS and Patriot missiles.

If you are reading this Mr.Mcfaul, I would like to thank you. You are one of the few American foreign policy politicians/academics that I actually respect and regularly follow

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There is not a direct parallel between Ukraine and Taiwan. Xi’s calculus is very different from Putin’s. The most important variable influencing any Chinese use of force is US policy. If the U.S. discards the One China policy by treating Taiwan as a security ally and shifts to preventing any possibility of unification, the Chinese will employ force regardless of U.S. deterrence. The Chinese have long understood the huge risks and dangers of an attempt to seize Taiwan by force, and that exists regardless of what happens in Ukraine. But the Chinese will use force if the U.S. shows that it is attempting to permanently separate Taiwan from China. So, any U.S. deterrence MUST be accompanied by credible reassurance regarding One China. A sole focus on deterrence and an impending war will increase not decrease the chances of conflict.

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I'm not convinced that Taiwan's youth has the will to fight either. I've heard they don't care much about politics and just want to be left alone to play video games. China would be wise not to cause blackouts if they invade.

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Curious how sanctions against PRC would work if it came to that, considering how critical they are to the global economy. Wouldn't the economic fallout of sanctions be huge not just for China but everyone else? I haven't read about this yet, so any sources are welcome.

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