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Soldiers participate in a military exercise simulating an invasion by China, in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, on Jan. 6.

Soldiers participate in a military exercise simulating an invasion by China, in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, on Jan. 6.

Photographer: I-Hwa Cheng/Bloomberg
Politics
The Big Take

Putin's War on Ukraine Shows Xi the Dangers of Attacking Taiwan

The fallout from Russia’s invasion may prompt China’s leaders to think twice about taking Taiwan by force.

Before Russia invaded Ukraine, U.S. officials warned China would seek insights for a potential attack on Taiwan. Nearly two weeks in, Vladimir Putin’s war looks more like a deterrent to Xi Jinping than a road map.

While Taiwan and Ukraine are vastly different in many ways, they are often compared due to their status as U.S.-aligned democracies claimed by authoritarian powers. Just as Putin long threatened action over Ukraine, China has refused to rule out taking over Taiwan by force — and recently increased military activity around the island.