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ROC Central News Agency

Taiwan's opposition parties condemn Russian invasion of Ukraine

ROC Central News Agency

02/26/2022 08:49 PM

Taipei, Feb. 26 (CNA) Taiwan's opposition parties denounced Russian aggression after the Kremlin launched military operations in Ukraine on Thursday, while underlining the need for Taiwan to strengthen its defense capability.

"We condemn violence and are opposed to inhuman war," the Taiwan People's Party (TPP) said via Facebook on Saturday.

Russia has justified its military operations as being to achieve the "demilitarization and de-Nazification of Ukraine," but Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the Russian attack is a full-scale invasion.

The situation in Ukraine and Taiwan are not quite the same, but both countries occupy a strategic location and are subject to tensions between regional powers, the party said, referring to Ukraine being caught between the NATO alliance and Russia, while Taiwan finds itself in between the United States and China.

The party said the international community did not send troops to Ukraine, merely providing helmets, medical supplies, and portable anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles to the country.

The U.S. and its NATO allies have sent ammunition, missiles and other arms to Ukraine in defiance of the Russian attacks, but they have said they will not send troops to Ukraine and fight Russian forces. Instead, they have increased their military presence in NATO member states bordering Ukraine.

This should be a warning to Taiwan, the TPP said, adding the country needs to have a strong and powerful armed forces and develop domestic defense systems in order to deter enemies.

It cannot "rely solely on purchasing hundreds of billions of weapons or expect foreign assistance," it added.

At the same time, Taiwan must seek a greater role in global supply chains and elevate its economic and cultural influence, so that other countries will be more invested in maintaining stability in the Taiwan Strait, it added.

While condemning Russia for waging a war against Ukraine, the New Power Party (NPP) expressed concern over recent discussion in Taiwan that it said sought to sow doubt in Taiwanese society about the U.S. commitment to Taiwan's security.

The U.S.' response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine cannot be used to conclude that the U.S. would not intervene in the event of a Chinese attack on Taiwan, the NPP said, adding that only unity can prevail over authoritarianism.

According to the party, Taiwan is strategically located in the Indo-Pacific region, an area where the U.S. wants to maintain its influence, and Taiwan and China are by the Taiwan Strait which is 180 kilometers wide.

Meanwhile, Kuomintang (KMT) Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) has said via Facebook that "Taiwan must not become the next Ukraine," adding that Taiwan should not underestimate the threat of war and expect other countries to lend a helping hand when it faces aggression.

Speaking to local media on Friday, Chu said ensuring Taiwan's national security and cross-strait peace is dependent on the efforts of everyone involved.

The KMT, which is the biggest opposition party in Taiwan, will defend the Republic of China and insist on democracy and freedom in the face of any acts of provocation from China, Chu said.

He also criticized the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for repeatedly provoking China, urging the government to seek dialogue with Beijing.

In a statement issued the same day, the DPP said Ukraine and Taiwan are not comparable because the two countries face different geopolitical and geographical situations.

Democratic partners should collaborate more closely to face the challenges and threats posed by authoritarian regimes, DPP spokeswoman Hsieh Pei-fen (謝佩芬) said in the statement.

At the same time, unity among Taiwanese is important, Hsieh said, calling on opposition leaders to support the government's response to the Ukraine crisis.

Taiwan's government has said it "will join international economic sanctions against Russia," following in the footsteps of the U.S. and other countries, although it has yet to announce any details.

(By Lai Yu-chen, Liu Kuan-ting and Teng Pei-ju)


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