Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) on Friday told the mayor of Ukraine’s capital that their democracies stand on “the front line of resisting” large authoritarian neighbors as Wu announced a donation of US$8 million to Kyiv and Ukrainian medical institutions.
Taiwan has condemned Russia’s invasion, joined Western-led sanctions and donated US$20 million for Ukrainian refugees, mostly raised from the public.
Speaking by videoconference to Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko, Wu said that Taiwan and Ukraine were both democracies “on the front line of resisting the expansion of authoritarianism,” the ministry cited him as saying.
Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
“The Taiwanese government and people also face a high threat from the authoritarian regime across the Taiwan Strait, and therefore feel the current situation faced by Ukraine as though it is happening to ourselves,” Wu said.
Taiwan has not previously announced talks between senior Taiwanese and Ukrainian officials.
Wu said that Taiwan would donate US$3 million to the Ukrainian capital and US$5 million to six Ukrainian medical institutions.
He also posted a picture on Twitter of himself talking to Klitschko, a former champion boxer, saying that the mayor’s “fighting spirit” was admirable.
“Champ, we’ll continue to stand with you & your people. Freedom will prevail!” Wu wrote.
Klitschko expressed his appreciation for the donation announced by Wu, and called the ongoing war a fight to safeguard democratic values and freedom, the ministry said.
A government campaign from March 2 to April 1 raised US$33 million in humanitarian aid as well as a large volume of supplies to help Ukraine.
Friday’s donation came from those funds.
Taiwan first sent 27 tonnes of medical supplies at the end of February for distribution by Poland to Ukrainian refugees in that country and Ukrainian citizens who remained in their home country.
Another 650 tonnes of supplies were donated last month by people in Taiwan.
Since late February, more than 5.13 million Ukrainians have fled their country because of the Russian invasion, UN High Commissioner for Refugees data show.
Additional reporting by CNA
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