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Dmitri Alperovitch on the New Cold War with China

๐ŸŒˆ Abstract

The article discusses Dmitri Alperovitch's views on the potential for a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, which he believes could happen within the next 4-8 years. Alperovitch, a cybersecurity expert and former CrowdStrike executive, argues that Chinese President Xi Jinping is likely to attempt to conquer Taiwan as part of his legacy, similar to how Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine. The article also covers Alperovitch's perspectives on the potential consequences of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, the lessons China may be learning from the Russia-Ukraine war, and the state of the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

๐Ÿ™‹ Q&A

[01] Alperovitch's Prediction of a Chinese Invasion of Taiwan

1. What are the key reasons Alperovitch believes Xi Jinping is likely to invade Taiwan in the next 4-8 years?

  • Alperovitch believes Xi Jinping, like Putin, is driven by ego and a desire to cement his legacy as the leader who "conquered" Taiwan, which the Chinese Communist Party views as unfinished business since the end of the civil war in 1949.
  • Xi has stated that the Taiwan issue cannot be passed on to future generations, and Alperovitch believes Xi sees a window of opportunity between 2028-2032 when he will be in power to attempt an invasion.
  • Alperovitch draws parallels between Putin's rationale for invading Ukraine and Xi's views on Taiwan, arguing both leaders have a distorted view of history and believe the territory rightfully belongs to their respective countries.

2. How does Alperovitch assess the potential U.S. response to a Chinese invasion of Taiwan?

  • Alperovitch notes that the U.S. does not have a formal mutual defense treaty with Taiwan, but argues that President Biden has signaled a willingness to militarily defend Taiwan, even though the official "strategic ambiguity" policy remains in place.
  • However, Alperovitch believes a U.S. decision to directly intervene would be extremely difficult, given the potential for catastrophic loss of life and economic damage that could result from a U.S.-China military conflict.
  • He argues the stakes for the U.S. are extremely high if China were to successfully conquer Taiwan, as it would significantly diminish American power and influence in the Indo-Pacific region.

[02] Lessons China May Be Learning from the Russia-Ukraine War

1. How does Alperovitch believe China may be interpreting the Russia-Ukraine war?

  • Alperovitch suggests China may be learning that the U.S. is deterred from directly confronting a nuclear-armed power like Russia, and may therefore believe the U.S. would be less likely to intervene to defend Taiwan.
  • However, Alperovitch argues this interpretation may be misguided, as the U.S. has provided significant military aid to Ukraine and has demonstrated a willingness to impose severe economic consequences on Russia.

2. What is Alperovitch's assessment of the long-term impact of the Russia-Ukraine war on Russia's military capabilities?

  • Alperovitch believes the war has effectively defeated Russia as a threat to NATO, noting that Russia's military has been "decimated" and that it will take Russia a decade or more to rebuild its capabilities.
  • However, Alperovitch argues there are still moral and strategic reasons to continue supporting Ukraine's defense efforts, as Russia must be made to pay a price for its attempt to change borders in Europe.
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