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Taiwan alert as Mainland China eyes Ukraine situation

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Posted: Friday, February 25, 2022. 11:19 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: In solidarity with Ukraine, President of the Republic of China (Taiwan) Tsai Ing-wen has told her working group on the Ukraine crisis set up by her National Security Council that all security and military units “must raise their surveillance and early warning of military developments around the Taiwan Strait,” Reuters reports.

Tsai has expressed “empathy” for Ukraine’s situation because of the military threat her island nation faces from Mainland China.

While Taiwan and Ukraine are fundamentally different in terms of geostrategy, geography, and international supply chains, Tsai noted in details of the meeting provided by her office, “…in the face of foreign forces intending to manipulate the situation in Ukraine and affect the morale of Taiwanese society, all government units must strengthen the prevention of cognitive warfare launched by foreign forces and local collaborators,” referring indirectly to Beijing.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson flagged the risk for Taiwan in a warning last week about the damaging worldwide consequences if Western nations failed to fulfil their promises to support Ukraine’s independence.

In Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying dismissed any link between the issues of Ukraine and Taiwan.

“Taiwan is not Ukraine,” she said. “Taiwan has always been an inalienable part of China. This is an indisputable legal and historical fact.”

“The issue of Taiwan is one leftover from the civil war, but China’s integrity should never have been compromised and never has been compromised,” Hua added.

China, which claims Taiwan as its own territory, has stepped up military activity near the self-governing island over the past two years, though Taiwan has reported no recent unusual maneuvers by Chinese forces as tension over Ukraine has spiked.

The defeated Republic of China government fled to Taiwan in 1949 after losing the civil war to the Communists, who set up the People’s Republic of China, which has been run as a separate democratic republic in the years since.

Taiwan’s current government strongly opposes China’s territorial claims. Tsai says Taiwan is an independent state called the Republic of China, which remains Taiwan’s official name. Belize, meanwhile, maintains wholehearted diplomatic support for Taiwan.

 

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