China furious with pro-Taiwan Kyiv group

Beijing fears Kyiv’s defense against Russia could become a model for Taiwanese resistance against China, Ukrainian lawmaker Inna Sovsun has said.

  • By Liu Tzu-hsuan / Editor, with CNA

The Chinese embassy in Ukraine tried to thwart the plan of the Ukrainian parliament to create a pro-Taiwan group, Newsweek magazine reported on Saturday.

Ukraine’s parliament on Aug. 17 launched the Taiwan Friendship Group, led by Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Oleksandr Merezhko and made up of 15 lawmakers, two-thirds of whom are from the ruling party.

Newsweek reported that “a diplomatic dispute is brewing between Ukraine and China” as Beijing lodged a protest against the newly created group at the Ukrainian Embassy in China last week.

Photo: Reuters

Merezhko reportedly said China was “trying to dictate what a foreign parliament should do”, adding that he had turned down a request to meet Chinese Ambassador to Ukraine Fan Xianrong (范先榮) before the group was established.

He said Fan refused to meet with him and his colleagues in March when they tried to solicit China’s support for humanitarian corridors amid Russia’s invasion of the nation, the magazine reported.

China’s indifference to Ukraine motivated parliament to set up the group, he added.

After the group’s launch, Fan complained to several senior officials of the ruling Servants of the People party, but no one put pressure on the group’s members, Merezhko said.

Fan might be worried that Ukraine will send a delegation to Taiwan like US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi did earlier this month, he said.

Ukrainian lawmaker Inna Sovsun, another member of the group and a long-time Taiwan supporter, said “China fears that Ukraine’s defense against Russia will become a model for Taiwanese resistance against China,” it said. the magazine.

The biggest concern for Beijing is the similarity between Ukraine and Taiwan, as they are “two small countries struggling against colonialism”, she said.

She said group members “coordinated the creation of the group across different levels of government” so as not to cause problems for the executive.

Executive departments of foreign governments are likely to be constrained by diplomatic relations with Beijing or the “one China” policy, while legislative departments have more freedom of action, Newsweek said.

Analysts say the Ukrainian government is reluctant to publicly back Taiwan because it doesn’t want China to side with Russia in the war.

“I don’t see the potential of the Chinese to help Ukraine. What we expect from them is not to help Russia,” Sovsun told Newsweek as told.

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