- Sputnik International, 1920, 13.01.2022
Russia-NATO Row on European Security
Russia proposed draft agreements on security guarantees for NATO and the US in late 2021 requesting the alliance not to expand eastward as Moscow considers such a move a threat to its national security. NATO insists it will not allow its "Open Door" policy to be slammed shut.

‘China is Gonna be Next’: Trump Claims Xi Ready to Seize Taiwan After Moscow’s Donbass Recognition

© AP Photo / Alex Brandon In this Oct. 23, 2020, photo, President Donald Trump talks on a phone during a call with the leaders of Sudan and Israel in the Oval Office of the White House, in Washington.
 In this Oct. 23, 2020, photo, President Donald Trump talks on a phone during a call with the leaders of Sudan and Israel in the Oval Office of the White House, in Washington.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.02.2022
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Despite Washington’s formal recognition of Taiwan as a Chinese province, US President Joe Biden has postured as willing to defend Taiwan from Chinese attack. However, the US has no contractual obligation to do so, and many have raised questions about whether the US could defend Taiwan - or would even try.
In a radio interview on Tuesday, former US President Donald Trump predicted that following Russia’s Monday recognition of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, which the US has characterized as a land grab, Chinese President Xi Jinping will attempt to make a move on Taiwan.
He made the comments Tuesday on “The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show,” where he told the hosts “this would never have happened if we were there.”
“I think he sees this opportunity,” Trump claimed of Putin. “I knew that he always wanted Ukraine. I used to talk to him about it. I said, ‘You can’t do it. You’re not gonna do it.’ But I could see that he wanted it … By the way, China is gonna be next. You know, China is gonna -”
“You think they’re gonna go after Taiwan?” Clay asked him.
“Oh, absolutely. Not with me, they wouldn’t have,” he replied.
“But you think with Biden they’ll try him?” Clay then asked.
“Oh, yeah. They’re waiting until after the Olympics. Now the Olympics [have] ended, and look at your stopwatch, right? No, he wants that just like - It’s almost like twin sisters right here because you have one that wants Taiwan, I think, equally badly. Somebody said, ‘Who wants it more?’ I think probably equally badly. But, no, Putin would have never done it, and Xi would have never done it. And also, North Korea has not acted up for four years,” Trump said.
Speaking on Tuesday, Biden claimed Putin’s recognition of the Donbass republics and sending of peacekeepers to the region was “the beginning of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.” He used the development to claim that months of vague warnings about an invasion were true, and to justify issuing economic sanctions targeting Russian financial institutions.
Putin said in a lengthy Monday speech justifying the “long overdue decision” that the 2015 Minsk agreement intended to pave a path to peace in eastern Ukraine was a dead letter and there was no longer a way out of the violence that would preserve Ukraine’s territorial integrity. However, another longstanding request of the Donbass republics - to be annexed by the Russian Federation - has continued to be ignored.
By contrast, Taiwan is a territory controlled by the former Chinese government that Beijing has always maintained is an integral part of China. In 1949, the communist Red Army triumphed in the civil war, conquering the entire mainland and establishing the People’s Republic of China in Beijing; but the old Republic of China government survived on Taiwan, where the Red Army could not invade, and has persisted ever since. All but a handful of small nations have switched their recognition of the Chinese government from Taipei to Beijing, including the US in 1979, but Washington has continued to funnel weapons and other support to Taiwan in an open but informal fashion.
© AP Photo / Republic of China (ROC) Ministry of National DefenseIn this Feb. 10, 2020, file photo and released by the Republic of China (ROC) Ministry of National Defense, a Taiwanese Air Force F-16 in foreground flies on the flank of a Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) H-6 bomber as it passes near Taiwan
In this Feb. 10, 2020, file photo and released by the Republic of China (ROC) Ministry of National Defense, a Taiwanese Air Force F-16 in foreground flies on the flank of a Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) H-6 bomber as it passes near Taiwan - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.02.2022
In this Feb. 10, 2020, file photo and released by the Republic of China (ROC) Ministry of National Defense, a Taiwanese Air Force F-16 in foreground flies on the flank of a Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) H-6 bomber as it passes near Taiwan
China has condemned US support for Taiwan, calling it a violation of the three joint communiques underpinning the US-China diplomatic relationship and an intervention in internal Chinese affairs.
"No one should underestimate the Chinese people's staunch determination, firm will, and strong ability to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Xi said in October. "The historical task of the complete reunification of the motherland must be fulfilled, and will definitely be fulfilled.”
Xi went on to say that he anticipates such a reunion would happen under the framework of “one country, two systems,” used to incorporate the former British colony of Hong Kong into China as a special autonomous region.
Similar to Russia vis-a-vis Ukraine, the US has accused China of threatening an invasion of Taiwan because of regular flights of Chinese aircraft through Taiwan’s expansive and self-declared air defense identification zone (ADIZ) and Chinese naval drills in the seas surrounding Taiwan.
On Tuesday, Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar objected to similar comparisons between Ukraine and Taiwan, saying that problems in the Indo-Pacific region are “quite unique.”
"You can take the view that everything in the world is connected. But…different problems have different histories, context, and players,” Jaishankar said at the Paris-based French Institute of International Relations (IFRI), adding that “transposing issues of one theater to another can be misleading.”
"Both are products of very complex histories of that particular region. In the case of Ukraine, a lot of it derives from post-Soviet politics, the expansion of NATO, the dynamics between Russia and Europe, and Russia and the West broadly," the Indian minister said.
"I think, in the case of Taiwan, it is a product of what happened in Chinese history and what happened the way the Cold War and other developments played out in Asia," he added.
New Delhi is locked in its own territorial dispute with Islamabad over the Kashmir region, which the two sides have roughly split in half but all of which is claimed by both sides. There are regular ceasefire violations along the fortified Line of Control that several times have flared up into full-blown wars between the two nuclear powers.
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