Wednesday, 10 August 2022

A Kindred Spirit: Taiwan’s Aid To War-Torn Ukraine


By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
Support for Ukraine has come from far and wide. Yet while some countries are able to back up their support with military aid or by opening their borders to Ukrainian refugees, others are unable to follow suit because of politics or simply because of their distance to Ukraine. One such nation is the Republic of China, more commonly referred to as Taiwan, which despite not being officially recognised as a country by Ukraine, has delivered humanitarian aid, funds and even small drones to Ukraine. Much of this support has come from private citizens and companies – a clear sign of sympathy for the Ukrainian people and an acknowledgment of the parallels between Ukraine and Taiwan, which is claimed by Beijing and has faced its own fears of a foreign invasion over the years.

Taiwan has also joined Western countries in sanctioning Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. [1] As a result, Taiwan has halted the export of semiconductors to Moscow. [2] Russian companies are wholly dependent on Taiwanese semiconductors for the manufacture of electronics and military equipment, and a global shortage of semiconductors has meant that Russia was already struggling for supplies even before Taiwan's export ban. [2] Taiwan's biggest assistance to Ukraine's plight is thus not so much in what it delivers to Ukraine, but what it currently isn't delivering to Russia.

Other aid from Taiwan has so far consisted of the donation of ten VTOL reconnaissance UAVs worth some US$35.000 (which are officially to be used for civilian purposes) by the XDynamics drone company, (medical) supplies and at least US$33 million in funding for medical institutions and Ukrainian refugees. [3] A number of Taiwanese volunteers (estimated at around a dozen) have also joined the Ukrainian Army since February, bringing with them valuable military experience. [4] Future aid could consist of additional funding and (medical) supplies as Taiwan is further strengthening its relations with European countries, even as the EU remains committed to its 'One China' policy.
 
The US$33 million in humanitarian aid as well as a large volume of supplies to help Ukrainian citizens and refugees in neighbouring countries was collected thanks to a government-launched campaign held throughout March 2022. Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen, Vice President William Lai and Premier Su Tseng-chang also each donated one month of their salary as humanitarian aid. [5] As Ukraine and Taiwan currently don't have any form of diplomatic relations, the outpour of support from Taiwanese citizens and the government alike is perhaps all the more special.
 
The following list attempts to keep track of equipment and aid delivered or pledged to Ukraine by Taiwan during the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. This list will be updated as further support is declared or uncovered.
 

Drones


Weapons Parts


(Medical) Supplies

  • 27 Metric Tons Of Medical Supplies [February 2022]
  • 650 Metric Tons Of Supplies [March 2022] 


Funds

  • $3 million for Kyiv municipality [April 2022] (Funds collected from private citizens)
  • $5 million for six medical institutions in Ukraine [April 2022] (Funds collected from private citizens) 
  • $25 million for Ukrainian refugees [April 2022] (Funds collected from private citizens)


[1] The Republic of China (Taiwan) government strongly condemns Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in violation of the UN Charter, joins international economic sanctions against Russia https://en.mofa.gov.tw/News_Content.aspx?n=1328&s=97420
[3] Taiwan firm donates NT$1 million in drones to Ukraine military https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/4479918
[4] Wary of China threat, Taiwanese join Ukraine’s fight against Russia https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/07/03/taiwan-fighters-ukraine-war-russia-china-threat/
[5] Taiwan president to donate salary for Ukraine relief efforts https://www.aljazeera.com/economy/2022/3/2/taiwan-president-to-donate-salary-for-ukraine-relief-efforts

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