China could invade Taiwan after seeing the West's response to Russia's brutal war in Ukraine, a leading historian has warned, Daily Mail reported.
Professor of European studies at the Oxford University, Timothy Garton Ash, said that Xi Jinping taking over the island militarily would be a 'worst case scenario', the report said.
The political writer claimed that the Communist leader will be thinking: "If comrade Vladimir (Putin) can get away with it in Ukraine, maybe I'll have a go."
He also warned Putin's 'minimal aim' is to bring a new iron curtain down over eastern Europe because he wants to create a new empire, Daily Mail reported.
Ash's warnings came a day after Taiwan's air force scrambled its fighter planes to warn away nine Chinese aircraft in its air defence zone.
At the same time, Putin's forces continued to sweep across Ukraine and reached the outskirts of Kiev by Friday morning.
Ash said the devastating conflict - which has already seen hundreds slaughtered - is just the beginning of Russia's plans.
He told BBC Question Time: "He (Putin) has effectively already invaded Belarus, which is just next to Ukraine. Because he put all his forces in there and they're there for as long as he wants them to be there.
"So I think the minimal aim of Vladimir Putin is to create a new iron curtain down the Eastern frontier of NATO so that countries like Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia will be stuck in the Russian empire whether they like it or not," as per the report.