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China is watching closely as the U.S. responds to the escalating tensions in eastern Europe, military experts and lawmakers say.
President Biden has, for weeks, mobilized the full force of his administration and rallied allies in a bid to cool tensions spurred by Russia’s troop buildup of more than 100,000 troops on its border with Ukraine. But with Russia still refusing to rule out military action against Kyiv, some in Washington are raising fears that a weak U.S. and Western response could embolden the Chinese Communist Party and accelerate the long-simmering standoff over Taiwan.
Texas Rep. Michael T. McCaul, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said last week he already fears China has already become emboldened by the events in Ukraine. He expressed growing concerns that China could make a move for Taiwan soon after the Winter Olympics conclude in Beijing next month.
“There is a real danger in that,” said Heritage Foundation Naval Warfare and Advanced Technology Senior Fellow Brent Sadler. “It really depends on how the U.S. government and the Biden administration respond in Ukraine.”
The chaotic U.S. pullout from Afghanistan last summer and Russia’s increasingly menacing stand toward Ukraine and NATO underscore a foreign policy truth — that actions positive and negative affect international perceptions of power and deterrence.
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