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  • Writer's pictureDahlia Foundation

Taiwan takes security lessons from Hamas, Ukraine surprise attacks


Taichung, Taiwan – On October 7, the Palestinian armed group Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel, firing thousands of rockets that quickly overwhelmed Israel’s state-of-the-art Iron Dome air defence system while thousands of fighters infiltrated southern Israel by air, sea and land.

The significance of Hamas’s surprise attack was not lost on Taiwan’s military, which lives with a promise by Beijing’s political leaders to unify self-ruled Taiwan with China, by force if necessary.


In the week after Hamas’s raid on Israel, the Taiwanese defence ministry announced the establishment of a task force to draw lessons from the Israel-Gaza war.

Taiwan’s defence minister, Chiu Kuo-cheng, has said that an initial lesson is that intelligence gathering will be key to counter China’s threats.

Taiwan also has the sea, said 42-year-old Tony Wei, who is a member of the Taiwanese reserves and a dentist by profession.

Taiwan is separated from China’s east coast by a 130-kilometre (81-mile) stretch of ocean known as the Taiwan Strait which acts as a natural barrier and early warning system should Beijing try to overwhelm Taiwan in a surprise attack.

“To invade Taiwan, they (the Chinese military) have to gather a very large fleet,” Wei told Al Jazeera.

China’s mobilisation of such a naval force would probably be detected by Taiwan, giving the self-ruled island time to ready for an invasion or even launch a preemptive attack, Wei said.


Still, the Hamas raid – largely considered unimaginable by military analysts before it happened – has made Wei question whether Taiwan truly possesses the capabilities necessary to counter a potentially determined Chinese military.

“The Israelis have a very powerful military, an effective intelligence service and a lot of American support,” Wei said. “If even Israel can be surprised and overwhelmed, then what about Taiwan?”

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