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With Russia orchestrating that Crimea citizens vote to become part of Russia, there are whispers that China may soon make a move with the PLA to help "Liberate" the Senkaku Islands. If this happens, relatively equal military moves by PRC and Russia, the next event in this logical chain of events would reveal the true intent of both countries: Let us see if Putin takes Eastern Ukraine and China takes Taiwan.
There are several "ifs" in there, but if we are genuinely watching the opening moves of WWIII, then we will see Ukraine and Taiwan fall. If Putin remains simply in Crimea and the PRC doesn't move on Senkaku, Ryukyu or Taiwan, one can reasonably conclude WWIII remains in the distance, rather than the near future.
We shall see.