There have been few events in recent memory as politically engrossing for Taiwanese society as the Ukraine invasion, perhaps apart from the 2019 Hong Kong protests.

This should not be surprising, seeing as both events touch upon strongly rooted domestic fears in Taiwan. The invasion of Ukraine has been seen by many sectors of society as offering a strong parallel to how a potential invasion of Taiwan by China would play out.

Most notably, the invasion of Ukraine has sparked a conversation about Taiwan’s military readiness, and to what extent Taiwan’s armed forces and civilian population are ready to fend off a Chinese invasion. This was not the case with Hong Kong, which did not prompt concerns about Taiwan’s military readiness, per se. Instead, discourse in Taiwan focused on what measures that Taiwan could or should take for Hong Kong asylum seekers. Likewise, the administration of President Tsai Ing-wen sought to leverage on fears about Hong Kong’s future under Chinese control to secure votes in the 2020 elections.