Comparing the situations in Taiwan and Ukraine is inappropriate, Taiwanese academics told a forum in Taipei yesterday, highlighting that the conditions the two nations are facing, including their locations as well as their geopolitical and international trade position, are entirely different.
Ukraine has a land border with Russia and is vulnerable to a large-scale land invasion, while Taiwan is separated from China by the Taiwan Strait, Institute for National Defense and Security Research senior analyst Su Tzu-yun (蘇紫雲) told the event hosted by the Association of Chinese Elite Leadership.
Taiwan’s semiconductor industry, which has proven to be critical for global supply chains, and shipping routes to Japan through Taiwanese waters ensure that other countries’ national interests overlap with Taiwan’s, Su said.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian economy is focused on agriculture and traditional industry, he said.
Unlike Taiwan, Ukraine does not occupy a “special place” in US politics, and its strategic value is far less pronounced, National Taiwan Normal University professor Fan Shih-ping (范世平) said.
As Taiwan is part of the first island chain, loosing it to China would endanger Guam, Hawaii and even the US west coast, Fan said.
Taiwan’s semiconductor industry is crucial to the world, so a Chinese invasion would have a far greater effect on global markets, he added.
The Taiwan issue is well-known in the international community, Fan said, citing as examples British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison mentioning Taiwan when speaking of the Ukraine conflict.
Ukraine became overly reliant on US and NATO promises, as its defense industry fell into disrepair after the 2014 Minsk agreement, he said.
Russia’s goal is regime change in Ukraine, while China’s ambition would be incorporating Taiwan, Cross-Strait Policy Association researcher Wu Se-chih (吳瑟致) said.
Drawing conclusions from the Ukraine conflict is a logical fallacy, Wu said, denying media reports saying that today’s events in Ukraine would be replicated in Taiwan one day.
Private entities should leave it to the government to make such far-reaching statements, he added.
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