The timing of China and Russia’s “no limits” alliance before the opening of the Winter Olympics was deemed “contemptible” by Taiwan on Saturday, with the Chinese government bringing dishonour to the Games’ spirit.
The news: At a summit of their leaders hours before the Winter Olympics officially began, China and Russia backed one other in standoffs over Ukraine and Taiwan, promising to work together more against the West.
- Russia expressed its support for China’s claim that democratically-governed Taiwan is an integral component of the country, as well as its opposition to any form of Taiwan independence.
What they’re saying: China’s persistent erroneous claims that the island is part of the People’s Republic of China, according to Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry, are identical to the country’s habit of spreading fake news.
- “It not only increases the Taiwanese people’s disgust at and loathing for the Chinese government’s arrogance and bullying, it also clearly shows all the world’s countries the sinister face of the Chinese Communist regime’s aggression, expansionism and damaging of peace.”
- The Chinese government has utilised the Russian meeting to engage in the spread of authoritarianism, the ministry noted, at a time when the world’s eyes are focused on the Winter Olympics and cheering on its athletes.
- “This is an insult to the peaceful spirit embodied by the Olympic Rings, and will be spurned by Taiwan’s people and held in contempt by democratic countries.”
What’s going on: The U.S. has also slammed the meeting, claiming that Chinese President Xi Jinping should have used it to press for a reduction in tensions in Ukraine.
- The Olympics, to which Taiwan has sent a small team of four athletes, are taking place at a time when tensions between Taipei and Beijing are at an all-time high, with China regularly dispatching military ships and aircraft close to the island.
- Despite the fact that Russia is China’s close ally, both Russia and Taiwan have modest de facto embassies in each other’s capitals.