Lessons for Taiwan: Understanding Why Sanctions Failed to Deter Conflict in Ukraine

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Lessons for Taiwan: Understanding Why Sanctions Failed to Deter Conflict in Ukraine

10th October 2022 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Learning from the failure of sanctions to deter Russian aggression in Ukraine will be vital in efforts to deter future conflicts. While it is impossible to correct mistakes that have already been made, Russia is far from the only power willing to exert force in pursuit of its territorial claims. 

Beijing continues to conduct exercises testing the capabilities for an invasion of Taiwan, with increasingly aggressive rhetoric paired with missile launches and live-fire drills. It would be deeply unwise to take the current ‘peace’ for granted. While efforts are already underway to provide Taiwan with military aid, Western countries also need to consider the role economic measures will play.

The latest paper from the Henry Jackson Society sets out lessons from the failure of sanctions to deter aggression in Ukraine and their success in inflicting economic hardship, and identifies ways to improve the efficacy of sanctions in the event of conflict with China. The report calls on Western policymakers to be credible and clear in their commitments, invest in preparation for disruption where those commitments are made, and find ways to spread the burden across members of the alliance.

The Henry Jackson Society is delighted to invite you to an event discussing how the West can best use economic statecraft to deter Chinese aggression.




Richard Tice is the Leader of Reform UK and a presenter with Talk TV, as well as a businessman who has operated in 12 countries across 4 continents. He speaks regularly on Talk TV on international affairs.

He is very focussed on the need for sovereign nations not to be over exposed, vulnerable or dependent on other nations, especially in matters of strategic importance such as security, critical national infrastructure and utilities.



Sam Ashworth-Hayes is a policy researcher and Associate Fellow at the Henry Jackson Society. He has previously worked as an economic consultant and journalist.



Misha Zelinsky is War Correspondent for the Australian Financial Review, covering Russia’s invasion from inside Ukraine. Misha was in Kyiv when the war commenced and spent 50 days covering Putin’s war inside Ukraine.

A Fulbright Scholar, national security expert, qualified lawyer and author, Misha is a leading public policy thinker.

As a contributor to MSNBC, BBC, ABC Misha’s work features in Australian and international print publications including Foreign Policy and Financial Times.

He is the host of popular foreign policy podcast ‘Diplomates – A Geopolitical Chinwag’, a show that regularly features in Australia’s top 10 political podcasts.

As the Assistant National Secretary of the Australian Workers’ Union – Australia’s oldest blue-collar trade union – Misha has been a leading union and Australian Labor Party political figure for the last decade. He is also a director of Cbus Super a pension fund with $70 billion under management.



Dr Chun-Yi Lee is Associate Professor at school of Politics and International Relations, University of Nottingham. She is also the director of Taiwan Studies Program at Nottingham. Chun-Yi’s first book was published by Routledge in 2011: Taiwanese Business or Chinese Security Asset. The book is under Leiden Series in Modern East Asia History and Politics. Chun-Yi applied from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) with Prof. Andreas Bieler on the project, ‘Globalisation, national transformation and workers’ rights: An analysis of Chinese labour within the global economy’ in 2010. This project successfully received the funding from the ESRC and started to operate from October 2011 till September 2014. In viewing the Chinese labour facing the challenge of industrial upgrading, Chun-yi applied a research project funded by Chiang-Ching-Kuo (CCK) Foundation in Taiwan in relation to ‘Chinese Investment in Taiwan: Challenge or Opportunity for Taiwan’s Industrial Development’. This project has finished in December 2016. Currently, Chun-yi is working on a public policy research project, to compare Taiwan and UK government’s strategies to counter Covid-19. Meanwhile Chun-yi is working her second monograph on the topic of ‘Sticky Decoupling? Globalisation and Geopolitics in the Semiconductor Industry’.



Dr Stepan Stepanenko received his BA (Hons) and MA by research from the University of York and went on to complete a PhD at Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes of Paris Sciences et Lettres with a focus on Ukraine. In his academic career Stepan presented at a multitude of academic conferences and authored publications in peer reviewed journals, individually and in collaboration. He is also currently an Associate Member of the CNRS UMR 8167.

In British politics, Stepan has worked with the Conservative Party, running for election in the London Borough of Barnet in 2014 and co-founding the Conservative Friends of Ukraine in 2021. He continues to work on cross party humanitarian projects with a focus on Ukraine.






The Henry Jackson Society was pleased to hold a discussion on Richard Tice and Sam Ashworth-Hayes’ new report on the failures of sanctions in deterring Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and what we can learn for Taiwan. Dr Stepan Stepanenko began the discussion by introducing the speakers. Richard Tice highlighted the global dependency on Taiwan for semi-conductor chips and criticised the UK government for allowing key infrastructure in Britain to be bought by Chinese businesses with links to the CCP. Misha Zelinksy discussed the eight lessons he thinks we can take from Ukraine, including not appeasing dictators and that unity is strength. Dr Chun-Yi Lee argued that in terms of production, the West needs to prepare to decouple from China, which will likely have the consequence of higher prices. Sam Ashworth-Hayes reviewed the development of Russian sanctions and drew attention to the lack of clarity and unity in deciding sanctions. Finally, the speakers answered questions on the One China policy, on the level of support for China in Taiwan, and the motivations behind Russian and Chinese expansion.





Millbank Tower, 21-24 Millbank, London, England, SW1P 4QP
21-24 Millbank
Westminster, SW1P 4QP United Kingdom
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Richard Tice, Sam Ashworth-Hayes, Dr Chun-Yi Lee, Misha Zelinsky


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