Taiwan watching Hamas-Israel war for lessons as it faces intimidation


Taiwan is closely watching the war in the Middle East sparked by the unprecedented attack on Israel by Hamas militants from Gaza for lessons amid what the self-governing island says is a campaign of intimidation and threats by China.

Hamas staged a stunning and massive incursion into Israel last weekend, killing hundreds in Israel and dragging dozens into Gaza as hostages.

In retaliation, Israel’s increasingly destructive airstrikes in Gaza have flattened entire city blocks. The latest conflict, which has claimed at least 2,400 lives on both sides, is expected to escalate.

Taiwanese Defence Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng said on Thursday that the Hamas-Israel war “blew up so suddenly, prompting Taiwan to up its ability to forecast possible threats.

We’ve established a working group to study and … reinforce the importance of collecting intelligence, he said ahead of a meeting of the legislature.

China, which claims Taiwan as part of its territory, has conducted increasingly large military drills in the air and waters around Taiwan as tensions have grown between the two and with the United States.

The US is Taiwan’s main supplier of arms and opposes any attempt to change Taiwan’s status by force.

The Chinese government would prefer that Taiwan come under its control voluntarily and last month unveiled a plan for an integrated development demonstration zone in Fujian province, trying to entice Taiwanese even as it threatens the island militarily in what experts say is China’s long-running carrot and stick approach.

Like Israel, Taiwan maintains close diplomatic and military ties with the US and has rejected China’s demands that it accept the rule by the Communist Party, whose leader Xi Jinping has extended his rule indefinitely and cracked down harshly on advocates of free speech and human rights.

Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry also expressed its support for Israel in the face of the Hamas attack and said it strongly condemns violence against civilians. Authorities are also in contact with more than 130 Taiwanese citizens residing or travelling in Israel.

Taiwan has urged citizens to avoid travelling to Israel and reminding those already there to take precautions for their safety.

Russia’s full-on invasion of Ukraine has also raised concerns that China may act against Taiwan, possibly with Moscow’s backing.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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