“The unintended consequences of Vladimir Putin’s disastrous war in Ukraine will be studied for years to come, with ongoing geopolitical repercussions already evident from North America to East Asia. Russia’s rapidly unraveling invasion has served as a warning to Putin’s ally, Chinese leader Xi Jinping, as he mulls a possible attempt to retake Taiwan.

“Meanwhile, Taiwan is pursuing an ambitious global charm offensive to shore up its international relationships, including efforts to enhance bilateral ties with Ukraine. The Ukrainian government now has an opportunity to broaden and deepen the strategic relationship between these two embattled democracies.

“Prior to Russia’s February 2022 offensive, Taiwan had almost zero visibility inside Ukraine. Its trade office presence in Kyiv was both intentionally minimized by Taipei and largely ignored by the Ukrainian authorities, who remained cautious about antagonizing China while welcoming strong Chinese trade links as a counterweight to Russia. Indeed, in the years prior to Putin’s full-scale invasion, China had emerged as Ukraine’s largest trade partner and a key market for Ukrainian exports.

“The events of the past eight months have transformed the geopolitical climate, with Russia’s invasion also altering the dynamics of bilateral ties between Taipei and Kyiv. Given Xi Jinping’s open support for the Kremlin, the prospect of Ukraine resuming its earlier relationship with China is increasingly impractical, making the possibility of stronger economic and diplomatic ties with Taiwan potentially more attractive. …”

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