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International Crisis Group: The top 10 conflict points to watch in 2023 include Ukraine and the Taiwan Strait

A group of Russian soldiers was released during a Russian-Ukrainian prisoner swap operation in Donetsk, released on November 4, 2022, by the Russian Ministry of Defense
A group of Russian soldiers was released during a Russian-Ukrainian prisoner swap operation in Donetsk, released on November 4, 2022, by the Russian Ministry of Defense

An international non-governmental organization recently published an article saying that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year undoubtedly caused a huge shock wave around the world, and looking forward to 2023, other crises around the world are also heating up. The article lists 10 major conflicts worth observing around the world, including Ukraine and Taiwan.

On January 1, 2023, the International Crisis Group published on its website titled “10 Conflicts to Watch in 2023.” Russia’s “offensive to conquer Ukraine, weaken the West and strengthen the Kremlin is currently counterproductive.” It boosted nationalism in Ukraine and pushed Kiev further into Europe. Ukraine

The article by the International Crisis Organization says that thanks to the courage of Ukrainians and the assistance of the West, Ukraine resisted the Russian offensive. The two sides have been fighting for land for nearly a year, but have seen no victory or peace for either side.

When Russia invaded Ukraine last February, it hoped to quickly crush the Ukrainian government and bring it to its knees. But the Russian army encountered fierce resistance from the Ukrainian army, and by last spring, the Russian army was driven out from around Kiev. Today, the Ukrainian army is equipped with more powerful weapons supplied by the West.

The Russian-Ukrainian war has also led to the possibility of a more catastrophic crisis, namely a “potential nuclear escalation between NATO and Russia”; This is despite the fact that both Moscow and the West have been painstakingly trying to avoid direct conflict. Putin’s repeated references to Russia’s nuclear capabilities appear to be aimed at warning the West; Despite the recent retraction of his remarks. ”

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Despite this, the International Crisis Group believes that the possibility of nuclear war cannot be ignored. “Especially if Putin feels that his power is getting out of control.” In fact, the war poses perhaps the highest risk of nuclear confrontation in six decades. ”

Taiwan

The global conflict points proposed by the International Crisis Group in 2023 also include the conflict in the Taiwan Strait. The group believes that the war in Ukraine is a headache for China.

After the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian war, international public opinion has always believed that this war has intensified concerns about China’s possible use of force against Taiwan.

The International Crisis Group article said that the Taiwan issue, “the biggest flashpoint between the United States and China, looks increasingly unstable”; That’s because Washington seeks to maintain dominance in the region, while Beijing seeks reunification with Taiwan.

Beijing says it seeks peaceful reunification with Taiwan; However, the use of force is by no means excluded. Washington’s assessment is that Xi has set 2027 as the deadline for the Chinese military to achieve the ability to seize Taiwan by force.

The article mentioned that as far as the United States is concerned, Washington’s adherence to the “one-China” policy is aimed at peacefully resolving the issue of Taiwan’s status, without prejudging the outcome, and presenting a posture of “strategic ambiguity” on whether or not to defend Taiwan militarily.

“But as Beijing has grown stronger and more assertive, Washington has shown signs of strengthening its policies when China’s military was weaker.”

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However, the article said that recent developments could exacerbate tensions in the Taiwan Strait. On the US side, the new Congress has taken office, and Republican Representative Kevin McCarthy has already said that if he can become the speaker of the House of Representatives, he will visit Taiwan. If so, Beijing will respond again with the response provoked by then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, who visited Taiwan last August.

The International Crisis Group believes that if Beijing’s internal economic and political woes intensify, it may demonstrate its resolve in a more forceful way; Especially if Beijing believes Washington wants to advance its advantage while China is in trouble. But the group added, “This escalation will not trigger war immediately, but it could bring the world’s two most powerful economies and military powers closer to war.” Ukraine

was listed by this article by the International Crisis Organization as the top 10 conflicts to watch in 2023, with Taiwan in 10th place. Other global conflict points of concern listed by the organization include Armenia and Azerbaijan, Iran, Yemen, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Great Lakes region, the Sahel, Haiti, and Pakistan.

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