• A national security official said the Chinese Communist Party wants the "least costly resolution" 
  • Chinese President Xi Jinping will create a "most beneficial environment possible" before invading
  • The Chinese are reportedly taking tips from the Russian invasion and studying potential sanctions

Hinting at China's resolve to "reunify" Taiwan, reports claim that Beijing has ordered its academics to evaluate the possibility of a military invasion of the island. This comes amid reports that the Russian invasion of Ukraine and subsequent sanctions imposed on Moscow have spurred Beijing to rethink the Taiwan invasion.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is moving ahead on its "overall strategy for resolving the Taiwan issue in the new era," a report by Taipei Times, quoting a national security official, said. However, Beijing's plan still centers on peaceful methods such as "legal or other action," the report added.

Though the CCP is "in pursuit of the least costly resolution," its leaders are not averse to military action and are studying using force, taking tips from Russian invasion, and effects of potential sanctions, the report added.

The report added that Chinese President Xi Jinping will create the "most beneficial environment possible" if it decides on choosing a military solution. "That might entail elaborating on its "one China" principle, urging countries not to interfere, sowing discord among Taiwanese, guarding against potential sanctions, and forming a plan for reconstruction after the invasion," the report quoted the official.

China has always maintained that Taiwan is a breakaway province and has not ruled out the use of force to reunify it. After Russia launched the Ukrainian invasion, reports had said that Beijing might use the distraction to finally invade Taiwan, but experts claim the aftermath has prompted Xi to rethink his plans.

Meanwhile, the Taiwanese official said that the conflict in Ukraine and the three ways it could pan out would have different effects on Taiwan.

He said the first scenario wherein Russian President Vladimir Putin wins the war would be "worst for Taiwan" as it would embolden Xi to launch an attack.

"In the second scenario, the war continues for longer than two months, dragging Russia further toward economic collapse, although Putin would be unable to retreat for fear of the political repercussions," the official said. This will be detrimental for the US as the refugee crisis in Europe and inflation would push Washington to seek China's aid. Result: Beijing would exert a greater influence internationally. It can then pressure the West to accept its interpretation of the "one China" principle and other concessions, the official said.

Taiwan is also considering the last scenario wherein a successful resistance from Ukraine with international support would force Putin from power. This would be "encouraging for Taiwan" wherein it "could learn from Ukraine how to defend itself and show China the potential consequences of starting a military conflict," he said.

However, under such a situation, Beijing could decide to attack before Taiwan completes its defense preparations.

Fighting... and hacking, the US alleges: China's People's Liberation Army
Representation. China's People's Liberation Army AFP / Greg BAKER