OK folks, here's some interesting speculation on how a Ukraine scenario would play out in Taiwan, on the assumption that the US will feel the need to directly confront China over matters of East Asian primacy in the near future:
With the precedent of Ukraine, let's say that Ma Ying-jeou and the KMT decide to insulate Taiwan-mainland relations from the possibility of a KMT defeat in the 2016 polls and accelerate the development of cross-strait ties. This shall not stand! Declares the hard-core independence militants. Crowds appear before the presidential palace and refuse to disperse until their demands-maybe for reduction of cross-strait ties, maybe for a new unity government, maybe for a referendum on independence-are met. In Chen Shuibian, currently about halfway through a twenty-year sentence for corruption, there is even an imprisoned leader whose release could be demanded. Things get violent as the government, with its approvals hovering near single digits, encounters angry defiance as it tries to put an end to the crisis.
Taiwanese yearning for democracy and freedom outside the baleful shadow of communist China becomes a cause celebre. NGOs, politicians, celebrities, journalists, and money from the West and Japan come in. Japan, in particular, remembers its locally very popular history as the colonial ruler of Taiwan from 1895 until 1945, and offers moral and tangible support to the markedly pro-Japanese and anti-PRC elements in the Democratic People's Party.
I think the basic problem with this is that Ukraine is de jure independent and that most Ukranians want it that way: Taiwanese seem to be more content to preserve the status quo of de facto independence to the extent that the DPP as a whole has trimmed on their commitment to full independence in order to become electable, though the radical end of the pan-Green spectrum remains committed to this goal. There's too much dog here for the tail to wag.
On the other hand, there is a current of ardent pro-Japanese thinking in Taiwanese politics, so if the Sino-Japanese cold war develops, this would be the kind of conflict at the periphery scenario we might expect. But the question there would be whether the Japanese tail could wag the American dog.