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I'm curious if there are any clues about how China's leadership is thinking about Russia's invasion of Ukraine, particularly it's occupation of the Russian-speaking west, as it relates to Taiwan. Namely, I'm wondering if they see the precedent Russia is trying to set as one that helps them reunite with Taiwan, or one that hurts that aim?

On the one hand, Putin describes "Russians and Ukrainians [as] one people – a single whole" and sees the invasion as an attempt to reunite a part of Greater Russia severed by Western imperialism. In many ways, this sounds similar to how China talks about Taiwan: as a core part of China severed from the whole, and a reminder of the ways in which Western powers have weakened China. From this perspective, you could see them being sympathetic to the invasion.

On the other hand, Putin has also focused on the rights and sovereignty of the Russian-speaking people of Donbass and Luhansk, and has talked about the invasion as being necessary to protect their lives and rights from Ukrainian oppression. Seen from this perspective, the precedent here could be to protect the rights of separatist regions to break away from their mother country, and for foreign powers to use military force to help them.

Obviously, these are vast oversimplifications, but I think they show that one could paint Russian actions as setting either a good or bad precedent for China-Taiwan reunification. With Chinese support looking to be irreplaceable for Russia in light of Western sanctions, are there are any clues as to which way China's leadership is leaning?

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    They are probably watching very carefully, how it all plays out. How bad the sanctions are really. How much resistance the Ukrainians do. How well the propaganda in Russia itself works. How much support for or against the invasion there is internationally. How nuclear weapons factor in. And then they will gauge their chances.
    – Trilarion
    Mar 7 at 18:01
  • Probably checking what gets censored gets you an idea. Mar 7 at 20:43
  • @ItalianPhilosophers4Monica How can one find out what is censored in China? Maybe a website like: whatiscensoredtodayinchina.com ? :)
    – Trilarion
    Mar 7 at 23:16
  • Dunno. These guys make some claims but who knows? wired.com/story/war-ukraine-chinese-social-media-censors-busy If you did find good resources that would tell you how they are trying to frame the debate which in turn might give some insight. Honestly, good question in absolute terms, but knowing what they actually think in the CCP top? As opposed to what they are saying? Mar 7 at 23:39

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