BEIJING: It is a "naked double standard" to seek to conflate the issues of Taiwan and Ukraine as the island has always been part of China and it is entirely a domestic matter, the Chinese foreign minister said on Monday (Mar 7), drawing an angry riposte from Taipei.
China claims the democratically governed island as its own territory and has over the past two years or so increased its military pressure against Taiwan, having never renounced the use of force to bring it under Beijing's control.
China and Taiwan's governments agree that Taiwan and Ukraine's situations are different, but for different reasons.
China says Taiwan has never been an independent country, while major chip-maker Taiwan says it is inappropriate to make a link as major chipmaker Taiwan is more important geopolitically, and that unlike Ukraine and Russia, it shares no land border with China.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that the Taiwan and Ukraine issues were "not at all comparable" as Taiwan was a domestic matter for China, while Ukraine was a dispute between two countries.
"We have seen that some people emphasise the principle of sovereignty on the Ukraine issue, but continue to undermine China's sovereignty and territorial integrity on the Taiwan issue. This is a naked double standard," he said, in apparent reference to the United States.
Washington is Taiwan's most important international backer and arms supplier, a frequent source of friction in Sino-US ties.
China recognises no sovereignty claims by Taiwan's government, which in turn says that the People's Republic of China has never ruled the island and only the Taiwanese people can choose their future.
Wang, speaking at his annual news conference on the sidelines of China's annual parliament meeting, said that tensions were Taiwan's fault for the government's refusal to accept that they were part of China, which will "ruin Taiwan's future".
He said hoped that Taiwan's future lay in the peaceful development of relations across the strait that separates them.
Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council said it was China's military threats, diplomatic pressure and attempts to "assault" the island that were the real cause of tensions.
"It also shows why it is unwilling to condemn Russia's aggression," it added in a statement.
China has refused to condemn Russia's attack on Ukraine or call it an invasion.