A new Russian intelligence leak reported by Newsweek says that China had planned the invasion of Taiwan for next fall but was delayed due to developments in Ukraine.
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A repetition of the Ukraine scenario, but this time in China’s backyard over Taiwan independence? According to Al Jazeera in a tweet citing Newsweek on a Russian intelligence document, “China has plans to invade Taiwan as soon as next fall”. “Traders are treating the report with skepticism,” according to the recent reporting on a purported Russian intelligence whistleblower paper.
It said “Many geopolitical analysts had viewed recent geopolitical events regarding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as likely to dissuade China from mounting an assault on Taiwan in the near term (i.e. the strong Western response, Russia’s difficulties in achieving its military goals amid unexpectedly spirited resistance).”
In recent days, Newsweek published a purported Russian intelligence document claiming that China’s Xi Jinping had begun preparations for a PLA force move to conquer the island this fall.
According to Newsweek, the document is credited to a “anonymous analyst with Russia’s Federal Security Service” (FSB), and it states that the plan is likely to be delayed due to developments in Ukraine and a coordinated Western response, including far-reaching US and EU-led sanctions. According to the document, Xi believes the “window of opportunity” has passed for now.
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“The letter in question is part of a series published by France-based Russian dissident Vladimir Osechkin, a human rights lawyer who runs gulagu-net.ru, a website documenting abuses in Russian jails,” the report said of the document.
“Osechkin claims to have received seven letters since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The FSB whistleblower has painted a detailed picture of fear and chaos inside Russia’s principal intelligence service, where apparently none but a select few were aware of Putin’s plans.”
It supposedly surfaced as part of an internal leak by a whistleblower, and significant elements were translated and presented in the Newsweek report as follows:
“Because of the war, Russia has such a negative image for a number of countries that the United States can easily push sanctions against China, at least with the Europeans, if it risks circumventing the sanctions on Russia,” the letter read. “China depends on exports so much that, coupled with its dependence on commodity prices…this would be almost a fatal blow.”
The whistleblower continued: “Not only that: Xi Jinping was at least tentatively considering the capture of Taiwan in the autumn—he needs his own small victory in order to be re-elected for a third term—there is a colossal power struggle among the [party] elite. Now, after the events in Ukraine, this window of opportunity has shut, which gives the United States the opportunity to both blackmail Xi and negotiate with his [political] rivals on favorable terms.”
The ‘intelligence letter’ was dated March 9, and Newsweek says it can’t authenticate the document’s legitimacy, despite the fact that it has been extensively circulated by anti-Moscow “open source” investigators such as Bellingcat.
The document’s origins in what may be regarded as Russian opposition movement groups are enough to cast serious doubt on its legitimacy. When asked about the document’s legitimacy during a news conference this week, Taiwan’s foreign minister appeared to dismiss it.