MARCH 4, 2022, 2:35 PM
Chinese President Xi Jinping’s worst nightmare is playing out in Ukraine. Regardless of whether he possessed detailed or advance knowledge of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion plans, two things are almost certain: Xi expected Russia’s battle-hardened military to quickly rout the Ukrainians, and the international community’s response would be muted.
Neither came to pass.
Instead, Russia’s messy Ukrainian war has morphed into a case study on how not to conduct an invasion. Even worse, Putin’s many battlefield setbacks have likely neutralized any optimism Chinese military planners may have harbored about easily retaking Taiwan by force.