Taiwan joins West in Russia sanctions

Saturday, 26 February 2022 07:43 Taipei Times

President Tsai Ing-wen gives a speech at an event in Tainan yesterday.
Photo: Hung Jui-chin, Taipei Times

Taiwan yesterday announced that it would join the US and other countries in imposing sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, but did not immediately provide details.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the nation would join international economic sanctions to compel Moscow to halt its military aggression against Ukraine and to restart peaceful dialogue among all parties concerned as soon as possible.

The government strongly condemns Russia’s decision to start a war in contravention of the UN Charter by invading Ukraine and occupying Ukrainian territory by force, the ministry said in a statement.

“This action has jeopardized regional and global peace and stability,” the ministry said. “It also poses the most serious threat and challenge to the rules-based international order and system of international laws that maintain and protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries.”

As a member of the global democratic alliance, Taiwan “staunchly defends the core universal values of freedom, democracy, the rule of law and human rights,” the ministry said.

Taiwan would continue to coordinate closely with the US and other like-minded countries to adopt appropriate measures to free Ukraine from the horrors of war, and quickly restore peace and stability to the region and the world, it said.

Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said Taiwan would join international sanctions because “Russia undermined regional peace by invading Ukraine, which has drawn condemnation from around the world.”

Taiwan strongly condemns Russia’s aggression, Su told reporters at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei.

“We will impose sanctions [on Russia] following other democratic countries,” Su said.

Foreign media reported earlier this week that the government was considering restricting exports of strategic goods to Russia.

Su’s announcement came a day after the Kremlin launched an invasion in Ukraine by land, sea and air in what Russian President Vladimir Putin said was a “special military operation” to achieve the “demilitarization and de-Nazification of Ukraine.”

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) played down concerns that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could trigger a similar crisis in Asia, and warned against any efforts to use the situation in Europe to sow panic in Taiwan.

Tsai said Putin damaged global stability and breached Ukraine’s sovereignty.

“I want to stress that the situation in Ukraine and in the Taiwan Strait are fundamentally different, not only because of the natural barrier of the Taiwan Strait, but also Taiwan’s geopolitical and strategic status,” she said in a speech in Tainan yesterday morning.

She also warned the public to be wary of any “external forces” using misinformation about Ukraine to cause panic about a possible threat to Taiwan.

Tsai characterized an offer by Beijing to evacuate Taiwanese from Ukraine as “cognitive warfare.”

The ministry said the offer was a “disgusting” attempt by Beijing to use the crisis in Ukraine for political propaganda in an effort to discredit Taipei.

The ministry said it has records of 33 Taiwanese in Ukraine.

Earlier yesterday, Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花) said: “Taiwan will review exports to Russia strictly based on the Wassenaar Arrangement.”

“We will talk to allies about other sanctions,” she added.

Separately, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) yesterday said it is fully committed to complying with new export control rules.

“TSMC complies with all applicable laws and regulations and is fully committed to complying with the new export control rules announced,” it said in a statement. “The company also has a rigorous export control system in place, including a robust assessment and review process to ensure export control restrictions are followed.”

Additional reporting by Reuters

Source: Taipei Times - 2022/02/26

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