- Rafael Scherzinger
The Effect of the Ukrainian Crisis on Taiwan
The current crisis in Ukraine affects most countries in the world. The Republic of China, or with its official name, Taiwan, is no exception. With the growing cooperation and friendship between Russia and the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan’s independence is being threatened day-by-day.
While many people think of Taiwan as an independent and sovereign state, only 15 countries worldwide recognize the Republic of China as such. 14 of these countries are UN-members. Every other state view Taiwan as a part of China, including the People’s Republic of China. This status quo is unlikely to be changed, as China’s political and economic power is currently on a historic high and has a tremendous tendency to grow.
In the wake of the crisis surrounding Ukraine, a spokesperson from the Foreign Ministry of China asserted, “Taiwan is not Ukraine. Taiwan has always been an inalienable part of China. This is an indisputable legal and historical fact”. As a reaction to this comment, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen responded with the following words: “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”. It is no secret to whom the President refers to by mentioning "foreign forces”.
These two situations in Europe and Asia have significant similarities when it comes to disturbances of sovereignty and independence by foreign governments. Allegedly, both Russia and China are leading cyberattacks against these countries for the better part of a decade in the pursuit of damaging both states’ self-governing bodies. Since both China and Russia claim territories of other countries to be theirs, aggression from these sides were and still are inevitably coming towards Ukraine and Taiwan respectively. Fortunately, Taiwan has not been attacked in this century yet, like Ukraine recently. But learning from the example of what has happened in Ukraine, a similar case could emerge on the other side of the world. Seeing the similarities, President Tsai articulated Taiwan’s empathy towards Ukraine, and added “The military is definitely not an option to resolve disputes. This is a universal truth”.