Taiwan’s president on Wednesday condemned Russia for ordering troops into disputed territories in Ukraine and ordered the military to step up its own defenses against rising tensions with neighboring China.
“Our government condemns Russia’s violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty … and urges all parties to continue to resolve disputes through peaceful and rational means,” Tsai said on Wednesday.
Itself under threat of invasion by a giant neighbour, Taiwan’s self-governing democracy is keeping a close eye on the crisis in Ukraine.
Ms Tsai described Taiwan and Ukraine as being “fundamentally different in terms of geo-strategy, geographical environment and importance of international supply chains”, referring to the island’s status as a major pillar of the economy. world economy, not least thanks to its world-class semiconductor industry.
“However, in the face of outside forces trying to manipulate the situation in Ukraine and affect the morale of Taiwanese society, all government units must be more vigilant against cognitive warfare,” she added.
Beijing claims sovereignty over Taiwan and has vowed to take it one day, by force if necessary. It has stepped up military, diplomatic and economic pressure on Taiwan since President Tsai Ing-wen came to power in 2016, who believes the island is a sovereign nation and not part of China.
Beijing has taken a cautious stance on Ukraine, but has also offered growing support for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Earlier this month, China and Russia signed a joint statement in which they agree on many foreign policy goals, including the rejection of further NATO expansion and the return of Taiwan to China.
Beijing officials have also repeatedly sided with Russia in blaming the West for tensions with Ukraine, accusing it of maintaining a “cold war mentality” and saying that Moscow’s concerns about security are “reasonable”.