Taiwan establishes special committee to analyze Israel-Hamas conflict in light of Chinese aggression

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Taiwan’s Defense Minister, Chiu Kuo-cheng, announced on Thursday that the self-governing island is closely scrutinizing the recent surprise attack by Hamas on Israel with the aim of bolstering its own defense measures and avoiding potential conflicts, particularly in light of China’s assertive stance.

Minister Chiu revealed that a dedicated task force has been established to closely monitor the developments in the Hamas-Israel conflict. When asked about the key takeaways from this examination, he emphasized the pivotal role of intelligence in shaping effective countermeasures, highlighting its potential to even prevent armed conflicts.

He emphasized that the conflict between Israel and Hamas vividly illustrated the devastating consequences of war. While the military is actively enhancing its combat readiness, it remains committed to avoiding any direct involvement in conflicts.

“It is everyone’s shared expectations to avoid a war,” Chiu said.

Taiwan, a territory claimed by China, is facing growing military and political pressures emanating from Beijing. These pressures include two significant rounds of Chinese military exercises conducted in proximity to the island since August 2022, intensifying concerns about the potential for a conflict with far-reaching global implications.

While there exist significant disparities between the challenges Taiwan confronts from China and the dynamics in the Israel-Hamas conflict, such as the necessity for China to traverse the Taiwan Strait for any potential invasion, the ongoing war has drawn considerable scrutiny to the prospect of a Chinese assault on Taiwan.

The government of Taiwan has expressed strong disapproval of the Hamas assault. President Tsai Ing-wen has affirmed Taiwan’s dedication to collaborating with like-minded nations in countering threats and violence while steadfastly upholding the principles of freedom and democracy.

In the lead-up to Taiwan’s upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections in January, the main opposition party, the Kuomintang (KMT), has framed the choice as one between war and peace, accusing the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) of provoking China.

KMT chairman Eric Chu emphasized the importance of peace across the Taiwan Strait, while DPP lawmaker Wang Ting-Yu criticized the KMT for not condemning China’s threats.

President Tsai has focused on modernizing Taiwan’s defense, and former Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison stressed the need for Taiwan to strengthen its resilience in the face of Chinese threats, noting that Israel, despite its smaller size, allocates a higher proportion of its budget to defense.

Taiwan’s defense budget for the next year is proposed at 2.5% of GDP, while Israel’s currently stands at 4.5%, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

(Source: Fox News | Yimou Lee | Ben Blanchard | Gerry Doyle | Reuters)

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