Diplomatic tit for tat over Taiwan in Israel, as Tel Aviv grows closer to Taipei

Taiwan's rep. to Israel, Paul Kuobong Chang said that both Taiwan and Israel are 'surrounded by some enemies' and that both countries have 'a lot of room to cooperate'

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TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – As Taiwan and Israel continue to strengthen ties with one another, a small confrontation between China and Taiwan has appeared in the OP-ED pages of Israel’s Jerusalem Post following China’s provocative military exercises and the recent encirclement drills conducted by the Chinese air force.

After the Jerusalem Post published the Reuter’s article headlined “China air force again circles Taiwan in 'Sacred Mission'” on April 20, the Taiwan representative to Israel Paul Kuobong Chang remarked on the event with a short opinion to the paper's editors.

Chang’s letter, published in the April 25 edition of the paper, read:

“China frequently claims that it is a peaceful country; now, as it is the world’s second biggest economy, we prefer to see it act more peacefully toward its neighbors…yet…Chinese bombers circle Taiwan, threatening it day by day. People in Taiwan, just like people in Israel, have a strong determination to protect their homeland.”

Not to be overshadowed by a reasonable statement asking for China to act peacefully towards its neighbors, a spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in Israel, Wang Yongjun, issued a reply to Chang on May 1, suggesting that Taiwanese people are the ones who are actually a threat to peace and stability in the region.

Wang’s letter can be viewed in its entirety below.

(Screen capture from the Jerusalem Post)

The next day, on May 2, another Israeli newspaper, the Israel National News published a story with the headline“Israel and Taiwan growing closer and closer” along with a video report featuring Rep. Chang, and the President and CEO of the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA).

The story noted that a “high-level delegation” from Taiwan was in Israel discussing future cooperation in the high-tech industries, and plans for collaboration in future joint venture projects.

In the video, Rep. Chang notes that both Israel and Taiwan are small countries surrounded by “some enemies” and that the two countries have a lot of room to cooperate.