VIF- Prospect Foundation Seminar on ‘Strategic and Economic Implications of Ukraine War on Taiwan Strait and the Indo-Pacific’
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The Vivekananda International Foundation organized a joint webinar with the Prospect Foundation on 27 May 2022 on Strategic and Economic Implications of Ukraine War on Taiwan Strait and the Indo-Pacific’. After initial remarks by Dr Arvind Gupta, Director VIF and Dr I. Chung, President of Prospect Foundation, presentations were made by Dr Cheng-yi Lin, Research Fellow, Academia Sinica, Dr Arthur Ding, Professor Emeritus, National Chengchi University, Amb Ashok Kantha, Distinguished Fellow VIF, and Prof. Srikant Kondapalli, Distinguished Fellow VIF. The webinar discussed a range of issues from implications of Ukraine Crisis for Taiwan and responses to a possible Chinese invasion to implications for India’s foreign policy and what can India and Taiwan learn from the Ukraine Crisis. Some of the salient points made were:

Though the Ukraine Conflict has changed European security architecture, bolstered transatlantic ties, and made NATO more unified with unprecedented western sanctions against Russia, it does not alter from the fact that Asia remains the primary theatre of geopolitical contestation. The US-China competition is unlikely to abate, and the US will remain focussed on the China Challenge. The Quad summit on 24 May 2022 showed that all four member countries are on the same page on China, albeit with some differences on Russia. The four countries strongly reiterated opposition to coercive, provocative, unilateral actions by China that seek to change status quo and heighten tensions in the region including militarization of disputed territory, dangerous use of coast guard and attempts to disrupt other countries from utilizing their offshore resources. Even US State Secretary Blinken in his articulation of Biden administration’s approach to China categorically stated that China posed the most serious challenge to the international order.

The Taiwanese side argued that the Ukraine conflict may provide precedent for China to undertake a military campaign to forcefully unify Taiwan with the mainland. They argued how Chinese military activities in the Taiwan Straits have increased to an unprecedented level. Comparison was made between Dongsha (Pratas) in the South China Sea and Donbas in Eastern Ukraine. The strategic location of Pratas makes it ideal to monitor US and other countries’ ships and aircrafts entering the South China Sea from the Pacific Ocean.

Both the VIF and Prospect Foundation appreciated the detailed and frank discussions that enumerated the strategic perspectives of India and Taiwan on the ramifications of the Ukraine Crisis. Both sides agreed that the Ukraine Crisis was an inflection point for the international order, yet China was the primary challenge for the region and more cooperative efforts would have to be made to deal with China’s increasingly aggressive and unilateralist behaviour.

Event Date 
May 27, 2022

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