On March 1, 2022, popular Chinese pundit and journalist Sima Nan published a video titled "Looking at Ukraine, Thinking about Taiwan" to the Chinese short video platform Kuaishou. In the video, he said that the "fancy tricks" being used by NATO and the West against Russia in Ukraine may be used against China in Taiwan. Explaining his point, he said that Ukraine has been turned into a "multinational proxy war" in which foreign volunteers – who may in fact be American or NATO soldiers – can come fight in Ukraine as "mercenaries." Echoing Russian rhetoric about the goal of the Russian operation in Ukraine, Sima also said that Ukraine needs to be "de-radicalized" and "demilitarized." In addition, he speculated about further escalation in Ukraine and the potential use of WMDs, particularly if Ukraine joins NATO.
Sima Nan: "Several friends said that now, looking at the gathering clouds of war in Ukraine, they were thinking about Taiwan Province. I have the same thought, always subconsciously. The tricks being played in Ukraine might happen in the future. If one day, the war of reunification with Taiwan breaks out, then the fancy tricks being played by the U.S. and NATO in Ukraine may be utilized in the Taiwan Strait.
"Have you noticed the two pieces of breaking news? These two pieces of news add up to a bad omen, a new fancy trick. The war has escalated, and the proxy war is developing into a multinational proxy war.
"First, the representative of Ukraine to the European Union said that the EU had formally started the procedure of considering Ukraine's application for membership, because Zelensky said 'I want to join the Party in the line of fire, I want to perform well, and my application should be discussed urgently.' Now some of them have already made their stand known.
"The second thing is that Zelensky actually signed an order that made everyone dumbfounded: For those foreign mercenaries who were ready to come to Ukraine to fight, Zelensky said to give them a visa waiver. If you want to come and fight, just come and fight. Think about it, some mercenaries certainly are willing to come to the front. If there are people who want to pay, there will be people who come to earn that money.
"There are also NATO and U.S. force... In this case it would be possible for them to come to Ukraine as mercenaries, and not as U.S. and NATO soldiers. So, doesn't this lead to more complication and escalation? If Ukraine joining NATO becomes a reality... The original demand of this military action is that Ukraine cannot join NATO, it needs to be de-radicalized, demilitarized, and neutralized.
"And now Ukraine wants to join NATO directly in the line of fire, the once the in-your-face, life-or-death war begins, it will be difficult to contain. Russia is now conducting a rather restrained warfare, only targeting some specific military targets and controlling all transportation lines. If it's really like those WMDs used in Syria against the anti-government forces... Russia hasn't used their weapons of mass destruction [WMD] yet, Russia has WMDs, but they are more restrained.
"But if you joined NATO, then it's hard to say how they're going to fight this war now. The Russian military is very cautious, particularly wary of civilian casualties. It's these cautious and restrained attacks that gave the Ukrainian army a breathing space, allowing Zelensky a chance to continue his comedy and make bigger troubles.
"Russia wants to solve the problem through negotiations, whereas the U.S., NATO, and the puppet regime in Ukraine, they do not want to negotiate, they want to play big."