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Recognize Taiwan Sovereignty–Putin’s Ukraine War Should Be Wake-up Call on Support for Democracies
Protesters hold signs expressing their opinion during a protest against Russia's military invasion of Ukraine at the Liberty square in Taipei. (Photo by Walid Berrazeg/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Protesters hold signs expressing their opinion during a protest against Russia's military invasion of Ukraine at the Liberty square in Taipei. (Photo by Walid Berrazeg/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Recognize Taiwan Sovereignty–Putin’s Ukraine War Should Be Wake-up Call on Support for Democracies

Michael R. Pompeo

With the Russian invasion of Ukraine, we have witnessed the invasion of a free and sovereign nation by a reckless dictator who cares little for peace or the sovereignty of his neighbors. This attack did not happen in a vacuum; it was the direct result of weak American leadership and a lack of American resolve.

For months, we knew that Russia was planning to invade Ukraine. We saw its troops massed on the Ukrainian border, knew they were conducting military exercises with the intent to invade, and knew that usurping Ukraine had been Vladimir Putin’s objective for decades. Yet, all the Biden administration could muster to deter this imminent attack was a weak, vague threat of sanctions and ambiguous statements that implied a “minor incursion” into Ukraine would be permissible.

American deterrence in Ukraine failed because the Biden administration placed too much emphasis on the threat of sanctions without establishing that it possessed the resolve to impose costs on its adversaries.

In Afghanistan, we fled without hitting back at the Taliban as it violated its deals and threatened American lives. Team Biden couldn’t even manage to impose real costs after the Taliban killed 13 U.S. troops in a cowardly attack of terror. The Biden administration’s weakness on full display to our adversaries invited this attack.

The invasion of Ukraine necessitates clarifying our position on Taiwan’s sovereignty so that President Xi Jinping fully understands unambiguously our relationship to Taiwan. Since its very inception, the Chinese Communist Party has sought to bring Taiwan under its control, and this ambition has only grown stronger in recent years.

Taiwan’s free economy is among the most prosperous in the world. It is one of the few countries that has experienced continuous economic growth during the past five years, and last year, it experienced its strongest economic growth in a decade. Practically every electronic device in the world – from smartphones to the computer chips in our own Air Force’s F-35 fighter jets – contains essential parts that are manufactured only in Taiwan, by Taiwanese companies. This makes the island democracy an immensely important strategic objective.

If the CCP could take Taiwan by force, it would also likely gain command over the market for advanced chip manufacturing for the global market. That control would be catastrophic for America and our allies. Likewise, ensuring that Taiwan’s economy remains free and out of the hands of the Chinese Communist Party is crucial to future prosperity in America and throughout the world.

Also central to the CCP’s mission to take Taiwan back is its recognition that a democratic Chinese nation represents a clear contradiction to its own avowed supremacy. The Chinese people, like all people, do not want the tyranny of the Chinese Communist Party. And every day Taiwan exists as a free and independent nation, that clear contradiction to their assertion of power grows stronger.

For these reasons, the CCP’s goal is to “reunify” Taiwan with mainland China, by force if necessary – just as Putin’s stated goal was to bring Ukraine back under the influence of Russia, as was the case in the days of the Soviet Union.

When our adversaries make their intentions clear, we should take them seriously and not waste time in taking the necessary steps to deter them. Recognizing free and sovereign countries and preventing tyrannical despots from overrunning them should also be a goal around which the world can unite with strong leadership from the United States.

The Russian invasion was the result of weak leadership in America and the West, as well as our collective lack of resolve in the face of clear, unmistakable Russian aggression since the Biden administration took charge a little over a year ago. A failure to learn from these mistakes will result in a conflict far more catastrophic for America and its allies: an attack on Taiwan by the People’s Republic of China. We should send a strong message to President Xi now by recognizing Taiwan as a free and sovereign country.

The PRC regards actions that are not in accordance with the dictums of the Chinese Communist Party, such as standing against genocide in Xinjiang and supporting the right of the Taiwanese people to determine their own future, as “provocative.” But it is never provocative to say that one demands freedom.

The United States should immediately take necessary and long-overdue steps to do the right and obvious thing: to recognize that Taiwan is a free and independent nation. We must offer Taiwan full diplomatic recognition and cement our ironclad relationship. In so doing, we will send a clear and unmistakable message to the Chinese Communist Party that what has happened in Ukraine, will never be permitted to happen in Taiwan.

Read in Fox News

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