03/07/2022, 00.00
CHINA
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At NPC meeting, Wang Yi says Taiwan and Ukraine are different situations

For China’s foreign minister, Taiwan is an “internal” matter, whilst the Ukraine-Russia confrontation is between two sovereign states. Speaking on the sidelines of the National People’s Congress, he said that his government was willing to mediate between Moscow and Kyiv. He also announced plans to send humanitarian aid to Ukraine. China fears the creation of an Asian NATO.

Beijing (AsiaNews) – The situation of Taiwan is fundamentally different from that of Ukraine, this according to Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi speaking at a press conference on the sidelines of the annual meeting of the National People’s Congress (NPC), which opened on Saturday.

In his address, Wang reiterated China’s traditional position that Taiwan is a “domestic affair”, whilst the clash between Russia and Ukraine involved two “sovereign” states, a statement that will inevitably provoke an irritated response from Taipei.

Nevertheless, with a clear reference to the United States and its allies, Wang criticised those who defended Ukraine’s sovereignty, whilst continually undermining China’s claim to sovereignty over Taiwan. China considers Taiwan a “rebel province” and has never ruled out taking it by force if necessary.

The island has been de facto independent since 1949 when Chiang Kai-shek and his nationalist (Kuomintang) forces fled the mainland after losing the civil war against the Communists. Since then, Taiwan has claimed to be the heir to the Republic of China founded in 1912.

On Ukraine, Wang still avoided referring to Russia’s operation as an “invasion” or “aggression” in a balancing act designed to maintains relations with the Russia as its quasi-ally whilst upholding the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state like Ukraine.

China’s senior diplomat added that his government would be sending humanitarian aid to Ukraine and expressed its willingness to mediate between Moscow and Kyiv, as requested by many parties, including NATO.

So far, China has been unwilling to fully support Russia to mitigate the impact of Western sanctions. In fact, despite its proverbial caution, Chinese leaders are clearly in a tight spot over Vladimir Putin's military adventurism, repeatedly saying that what is happening in Ukraine is not what China would like to see.

Chinese support for Russia's “legitimate” security demands, in the face of NATO expansion into Eastern Europe is linked to its recurring fear that the US might seeking to create an Asian NATO to contain its rise.

In his speech Wang put it bluntly, slamming Washington's “geopolitical game” and exclusive clubs such as Quad and Five Eyes.

The first is a security forum that includes the United States, Japan, Australia and India; the other is the intelligence sharing alliance between the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

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