With great dismay and worry we watched the latest developments in the Ukraine. Russia, breaking the international law, declared war against Ukraine. The Russian claims are without any foundation and especially target the West, democracy, and freedom. We would like to express our solidarity with the Ukrainian people in these dark hours.

The criminal invasion of Ukraine by Russia is against international law. It shows that imperious and anti-democratic regimes are openly and vigorously working towards replacing rule-based international systems of justice and dialog by rule of the strongest. The governments and the people of the democratic states must unite more than ever to withstand this aggressive behavior. We all face tremendous threat from incidences like Hong Kong and Ukraine; it is not the end, but perhaps only the beginning of a wave of open violence against freedom.

This shadow also falls on Taiwan. Even though Taiwan was never part of the People’s Republic of China, the communist dictatorship still claims the reign over the island. Beijing’s goal is to restore the alleged claim and threatens Taiwan blatantly with complete military force. The massive expansion of the Chinese military – especially the constant increase of landing crafts, which do not serve defensive purposes, but rather the invasion of shores – brings great concern.

States like Russia and China do not worry about the wellbeing of their people. They suppress the longings of their people for freedom and peace with violence and hence aspire to expand and stabilize their power. We, in the West, need to learn to understand that they not only threaten their citizens with this behavior. Our democracy and freedom are openly visible and thus endanger their system.

We must become stronger again to decisively defend our values. Too often human rights were put into the background in the face of economic interests in the past decades. Trading and international connections are the basis of our prosperity, but they should not prevent us from raising our voice against military force and obvious abuses of human rights. When Hong Kong, the Ukraine and even Taiwan are attacked then that is an attack on us all!

As German-Taiwanese Association and Youth Taiwan Initiative of DTG, we demand a strong commitment to democracy, human rights and peace!