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Taiwan to impose sanctions on Russia for Ukraine invasion

Taiwan-made semiconductors likely to be banned soon from export to Russia

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Map of Taiwan superimposed on image of semiconductor. 

Map of Taiwan superimposed on image of semiconductor.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) on Friday (Feb. 25) announced that Taiwan will impose sanctions on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

During a press briefing before a session of the Legislative Yuan on Friday, Su was hit by a flurry of questions over Russia's invasion of Ukraine, such as whether the government will implement any measures to stabilize prices and stock market fluctuations, how the nation will respond to Russia's aggression, and if Taiwan is the "next Ukraine." Su responded by saying that Russia's breaking of the peace and invasion of Ukraine has been "severely condemned by the whole world."

In terms of concrete action, Su said, "We strongly condemn this kind of aggression and will impose sanctions simultaneously with democratic countries." As for the suggestion that Taiwan is the "next Ukraine," Su pointed out that the situation in Taiwan is "very different."

Su explained that Taiwan is vital to the world's industrial supply chain and that the geopolitical and geographical environment is unlike that of Ukraine. He said he despises those who agree with foreign forces deliberately engaging in cognitive warfare.

The premier vowed to "absolutely protect the country's sovereignty and security." He added that Taiwan will "definitely keep pace with democratic countries in upholding the country's sovereignty and protecting the safety of the people."

That same morning, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) issued a statement condemning Russia's violation of the UN Charter by invading Ukraine and occupying its territory. The ministry stated that this "not only undermines regional and global peace and stability but also harms the rules-based international order."

MOFA stated that as a member of the democratic community of nations, Taiwan "firmly defends the universal core values of democracy, freedom, the rule of law, and human rights and regrets that Russia has chosen to use force to intimidate the weak instead of peacefully resolving disputes through diplomatic consultations." The ministry then announced that "in order to urge Russia to stop its military aggression against Ukraine and resume peaceful dialogue among all parties as soon as possible," the Taiwanese government will impose sanctions against Russia along with the international community.

The ministry reiterated that Taiwan "once again calls on all parties to respect Ukraine's sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity." It emphasized that Taiwan "opposes unilateral changes to the status quo by force or coercion, and calls on all parties concerned to continue to resolve their differences through peaceful and rational dialogue."

It pledged that Taiwan will continue to closely coordinate with the U.S. and other like-minded countries, and take "appropriate actions to help Ukraine escape the scourge of war as soon as possible and restore regional and global peace and stability."

Neither the premier nor MOFA have yet specified what sanctions Taiwan will impose on Russia, but earlier in the week news broke that Taiwan had joined Japan and Singapore in backing U.S. President Joe Biden's plan to impose extreme export controls on technology on Russia if it went ahead with a full-fledged invasion of Ukraine. According to three sources who spoke to Foreign Policy, the three Asian countries are working with the U.S. to prepare export bans on semiconductors, computer chips, and other high-end tech products to Russia.

On Thursday (Feb. 24), Biden announced a wave of new sanctions on Russia, including a ban on the export of a wide spectrum of high-tech products. Any products made with U.S.-regulated technology or software are subject to the Foreign Direct Product Rule, forcing companies to seek a license from the U.S. before they can export them to Russia,. The applications face a highly restrictive "policy-of-denial" standard of review.