Taiwan excludes Russia from visa-free program amid Moscow’s growing ties with Beijing

In its latest statement, Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said a trial program that offered Russian passport holders visa-free entry to the island nation has been suspended after it expired on July 31. According to reports, a pilot program has been launched. by the Taiwanese government in 2018 to allow people from four countries, including Russia, Thailand, Brunei and the Philippines, to enter Taipei visa-free. The ministry further said the program was extended for a year but Russia was excluded, CNA reported.

According to reports, the remaining three countries are still part of the trial visa-free entry program, but in reality it is not operational due to COVID-19 border control regulations implemented by Taiwan. However, Taiwan began easing some of its limitations this year, including resuming visa-free travel for citizens of its 14 allied countries. The majority of countries around the world, including the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and several European countries, have eased travel restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, Taiwan’s updated border regulations continue to exclude countries like Israel, Chile, Japan, South Korea, Nicaragua, Singapore, Malaysia and the Dominican Republic from the Visa Waiver Program. . These countries would have provided visas on arrival or visa-free access to travelers from Taiwan before the pandemic. The pilot program allowed Russian citizens to enter Taiwan without a visa, but Taiwanese were not allowed to travel to Moscow without applying for a visa.

Taiwan concerned about the development of Russian-Chinese relations

It should be mentioned here that Taiwan has expressed concern over the growing ties between Russia and China, saying they pose a serious threat to world peace, stability and democracy. Taiwan’s foreign ministry also urged the global community to speak out against China’s threats to the island nation.

“China continually threatens Taiwan’s national security, tries to unilaterally change the cross-Strait status quo, and practices expansionism. It finds international comfort in getting closer to the Russian invaders, and even claims that those who maintain peace and status quo are engaged in provocation,” Taiwan’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

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