China blames Taiwan for sending humanitarian aid to Ukraine and adhering to sanctions against Russia. The article in the newspaper El Pais
Humanitarian aid to Ukraine has become a new bone of contention between China and Taiwan, the self-governing island that Beijing does not give up on unifying by force, considering it part of its territory. The Chinese government – writes El Pais – accused Taipei of “taking advantage of the difficulties of others”, after the government of President Tsai Ing-wen announced a new shipment of donations for refugees from the former Soviet republic.
Both sides of the strait reacted in opposite ways to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. China maintains a neutral stance towards Moscow, avoids condemning the war, blames the United States and NATO for the conflict, and calls for the lifting of Western sanctions against Russia.
Taipei, for its part, has adhered to international punitive measures and argues that it has an obligation to align itself with other democracies. It imposed export restrictions on approximately $ 20 million worth of semiconductors (€ 18 million) to Russia and blocked Russian banks’ access to the Swift international payment system.
The population of the island is following closely – and sympathy for Ukraine – a conflict in which they perceive some similarities with their own circumstances. Among these – and even if the situation in Ukraine is very different from that of Taiwan, diplomatically and militarily – is the fear of being invaded at some point by a much larger and more powerful neighbor who has no interest in the model. Western liberal democracy. “Ukraine today, Taiwan tomorrow” is a slogan that crossed Taiwanese social media in the first days after the invasion; demonstrations in support of the former Soviet orbit have become common in major cities.
Both China and Taiwan have sent aid to Ukrainian refugees, albeit in varying amounts. The world’s second largest economy, with a population of 1.4 billion, has sent food and basic necessities through its Red Cross worth five million yuan, or 717,000 euros, to assist those arriving at the Romanian border or Moldovan. Taiwan, with a population of 24 million, announced a $ 3.5 million (€ 3.2 million) donation earlier this month, to which it said this week it would add another 11.5 million. dollars (10.4 million euros), to be used on the Polish border. President Tsai has given up on a month’s salary.
At the regular press conference of the Taiwan Affairs Office, the Beijing government agency in charge of relations with the island, spokesman Zhu Fenglian on Wednesday accused the Tsai government of taking advantage of the problems in Ukraine to score political points. “The authorities of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP, Tsai’s party) are using the Ukrainian question to validate their existence and take advantage of a burning issue by taking advantage of the difficulties of others,” Zhu said. “Their attempts to incite confrontation and create hostility through political manipulation will not be successful,” he added.
Since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine, the government of Taiwan – which under Tsai made the modernization of its armed forces a priority in the face of increasing pressure from China in the form of military exercises and almost daily flights over the air defense zone of Taiwan – has given a new impetus to the training of its reservists and the internal production of weapons, including missiles and drones. The United States, a major defense ally, has sent a delegation of retired military commanders to support Taipei.
“The recent situation in Ukraine demonstrates once again that the protection of the country, in addition to solidarity and international assistance, depends on the unity of all the people,” Tsai said this weekend during a visit to a training center for the reservists.
(Extract from the press review of eprcomunicazione)

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