Asia/Pacific

Beijing says Taiwan is ‘not Ukraine,’ has always been part of China

China’s foreign ministry on Wednesday said Taiwan is “not Ukraine” and has always been a part of China amid Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen’s calls to ramp up vigilance on military activities in response to the crisis in Ukraine. 

Foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying dismissed the concerns of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who said there might be worldwide consequences, including for Taiwan, if Western nations failed to support Ukraine’s independence, according to Reuters.

“Taiwan is not Ukraine,” Hua said while speaking in Beijing. “Taiwan has always been an inalienable part of China. This is an indisputable legal and historical fact.”

Hua noted that the situation with Taiwan is the result of the country’s civil war in the mid-20th century but that China’s integrity should have never been compromised and has never been compromised. 

In 1949, the government of the Republic of China fled to Taiwan to escape communist forces, who formed the People’s Republic of China the same year.

However, Taiwan has vehemently opposed China’s claims over the island, with Tsai noting that it is still the self-governing Republic of China, according to Reuters. 

The Taiwanese president told her working group on the Russia-Ukraine crisis established 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,” according to the news service.

Tsai noted that Taiwan and Ukraine are fundamentally different in various ways, including geography and internal supply chains. 

“But 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,” she said, according to Reuters. 

Tsai expressed “empathy” for Ukraine’s situation because of Taiwan’s own military threat, Reuters noted. While the statement did not specifically refer to mainland China by name, it is the most significant military threat the East Asian island faces. 

Tags Boris Johnson China Taiwan Ukraine

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