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Taiwan Criticizes Russia for Supporting China’s Opposition to Democratic Elections

Russia’s foreign ministry issued a statement parroting the CCP’s stance.

TAIPEI—Taiwan’s foreign ministry sharply criticized Russia on Sunday after Moscow took Beijing’s side and criticized the island’s democratic elections a day earlier.

On Jan. 13, about 14 million Taiwanese voters went to the polls to select a new president and legislature. Lai Ching-te, the current vice president of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), was elected the next president after picking up 40 percent of the votes. Mr. Lai’s victory gave the DPP—which China sees as a threat to its goal of taking over Taiwan—a third consecutive four-year term in power.
Russia’s criticism of Taiwan is the latest example of a close partnership between Moscow and Beijing, ever since Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leader Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin elevated their ties to a “no limit“ partnership in February 2021. Overlaying the criticism is a bigger question of whether Russia would support the CCP if Mr. Xi were to decide to invade Taiwan.
Following Saturday’s elections in Taiwan, foreign leaders from many countries, including the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Lithuania, Japan, the European Union (EU), Germany, France, and Guatemala, have issued positive statements on the election outcome, some congratulating Mr. Lai for his election victory.

On Taiwan’s elections, Russia’s foreign ministry issued a statement parroting China’s stance, saying that “Taiwan is an inalienable part of China” and the relations between the two neighbors “constitute an internal matter for China.”

“Russia has willingly become a henchman of China’s Communist regime, deliberately following the fallacy of China’s ‘one-China principle’ after our nation’s elections,” Taiwan’s foreign ministry said in a statement on Jan. 14, condemning the Russian statement.

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“Not only does it not help stabilize the situation in the Taiwan Strait, it once again proves the harm caused by the Chinese and Russian authoritarians to international peace and stability and the rules-based international order,” the ministry added.

The ministry reiterated that Taiwan “will not succumb to pressure and diplomatic suppression” from the Chinese regime. It concluded by saying that Taiwan will continue to partner with allies to safeguard global and regional peace and stability.

The United States has long held a “one China policy,” which asserts that there is only one sovereign state with the name “China,” but it is different from the “one China principle” under which the Chinese regime asserts sovereignty over Taiwan.


Mr. Lai’s victory was a setback for the Chinese regime, which has traditionally favored political candidates belonging to Taiwan’s Beijing-friendly Kuomintang Party (KMT). On Saturday, the KMT presidential candidate, Hou Yu-ih, who is the current New Taipei City Mayor, finished in second place with 33 percent of the votes.

The Chinese regime is upset that many countries have chosen to congratulate Taiwan on its elections. It has lodged “solemn” complaints to Japan’s foreign ministry and the U.S. State Department over their statements and voiced opposition to remarks released by the UK and the EU.

“The United States congratulates Dr. Lai Ching-te on his victory in Taiwan’s presidential election. We also congratulate the Taiwan people for once again demonstrating the strength of their robust democratic system and electoral process,” the State Department said in a statement.

“We look forward to working with Dr. Lai and Taiwan’s leaders of all parties to advance our shared interests and values, and to further our longstanding unofficial relationship, consistent with the U.S. one China policy.”

On Sunday evening, Laura Rosenberger, chair of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), the U.S. de facto embassy in Taiwan, announced her arrival in Taiwan with a U.S. delegation, according to her post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“It’s an honor to return to Taiwan [with] 2 distinguished former senior U.S. officials to convey congratulations from the American [people] to Taiwan on its successful election, support for Taiwan’s continued prosperity & growth and our longstanding interest in cross-Strait peace & stability,” Ms. Rosenberger wrote.

According to an AIT press release, the delegation consists of former National Security advisor Stephen J. Hadley and former Deputy Secretary of State James B. Steinberg, and they are scheduled to meet “a range of leading political figures” in Taiwan on Jan. 15. 

In recent years, the Chinese regime has repeatedly sent warplanes and warships to areas near Taiwan, as part of its coercion tactics against the Taiwanese government. Since December, it stepped up its pressure on the island, sending balloons across the sensitive median line of the Taiwan Strait, with some even flying directly above the island.

One balloon was spotted above waters northeast of Taiwan at around 11 p.m. local time on Saturday, a few hours after Mr. Lai declared victory, according to Taiwan’s defense ministry.

The ministry also reported spotting four Chinese military vessels around Taiwan from 6 a.m. Saturday to 6 a.m. Sunday. 

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