'Suicide Mission': China Doubts U.S. Ability to Defend Europe, Taiwan

The Global Times, a Chinese state-run media outlet, ramped up its criticism of the United States on Wednesday, calling the U.S. "frail" and unable to defend Europe, let alone Europe and Taiwan at the same time.

Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine threw Europe into disarray and raised concerns that China could capitalize on the disruption to wage a war on Taiwan. The United States has held firm in its support of both Ukraine and Taiwan, and Kurt Campbell, coordinator for Indo-Pacific Affairs on the National Security Council, rejected claims that the United States couldn't handle two wars at one time.

However, the Global Times, a frequent critic of the U.S., cast doubt on Campbell's claim, seemingly attempting to goad the United States into putting troops on the ground in Ukraine.

The outlet's editorial board wrote that President Joe Biden's refusal to put troops on the ground in Ukraine is "proof" that the White House isn't "confident it can win even one regional war." The Global Times also cited America's failure to claim victory after lengthy wars in Vietnam and Afghanistan.

"Against this backdrop, fighting two wars will only be a suicide mission for the U.S.," the Global Times op-ed said.

global times china taiwan ukraine russia
The Global Times, a Chinese state-run media outlet, doubted America's ability to defend Europe and Taiwan at the same time. Soldiers with the 82nd Airborne division walk across the tarmac at Green Ramp to deploy to Poland on February 14 at Fort Bragg, Fayetteville, North Carolina. Melissa Sue Gerrits/Getty Images

The outlet's criticism of the United States is nothing new, as the U.S. is often a target of the op-ed section. Recently, though, the outlet has been focusing its opinion section on the harm of sanctions against Russia, praise for China's handling of the conflict with Ukraine, and calls for the world to let Russia and Ukraine work things out on their own.

Wednesday's op-ed marked a shift back to the tone the outlet used to take with the U.S. The Global Times and Chinese officials have been trying to cast doubt on America's commitment to its allies, sending a message to Taiwan that it can't count on the world to come to its defense if China launches an assault.

Many doubt that China will change its course of action toward Taiwan just because of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, but Beijing is likely watching how the world responds to Russia to gauge the reaction an invasion of Taiwan would have.

At a German Marshall Fund event on Monday, Campbell attempted to squash any beliefs that Russia's attack on Ukraine presented an opportunity for China. Campbell said the government has a "deep recognition and intention" of maintaining its engagement in the Indo-Pacific. He noted that it wouldn't be the first time the United States had to wage multiple battles at one time, pointing to World War II and the Cold War.

"It's difficult. It's expensive. But it is also essential, and I believe that we're entering a period where that is what will be demanded of the United States and this generation of Americans," Campbell said, according to Reuters.

A delegation of former U.S. officials met with Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen on Wednesday in the hopes of assuring Taipei of America's commitment to the self-governing island.