Taiwan expands Russian sanctions to stop tech being used for arms

TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan’s economy ministry said on Tuesday it had expanded a list of sanctioned goods for Russia and its ally Belarus in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to prevent Taiwanese high-tech goods from being used for military purposes.

Taiwan has condemned Russia’s attack and already joined the Western-led sanctions effort, though it is largely symbolic as there is only minimal direct trade between the island and Russia.

Announcing its latest round of sanctions, Taiwan’s economy ministry said the move was made “in order to fulfil international cooperation and prevent the export of our high-tech goods for military purposes”.

The list includes equipment for making semiconductors, the production of which Taiwan is a world leader in, as well as certain chemicals and medicines, adding to previous announcements which already targetted the chip industry.

The new sanctions are consistent with those already announced by the European Union, the United States and other countries, the ministry said in a statement.

The EU, the United States and others have recently collected weapon debris from Ukrainian battlefields and come up with a “common high priority list” of electronic and mechanical parts and equipment that are widely used in commercial applications and can be used to make weapons, it added.

Export license applications will “in principle” not be approved, the ministry said.

Ukraine’s plight has won broad public sympathy in Taiwan due to what many people view as the parallels between what it happening in the European country and what could happen if China ever uses force to bring the island it claims as its own territory under Chinese control.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Angus MacSwan)