August 15, 2010
There don’t seem to be tight diplomatic ties between Israel and Taiwan as not many news articles mentioned the two together. But as I observe, I find dozens of similarities between them.
- Political environment. This is the most obvious one. I’m not familiar with Taiwan affairs but we all know there’re two groups of people, known as Green and Blue, which support two different parties. People extremely disagree with people in another group, and there are stories of divorce, friends breaking down this kind of stuff due to political views. These can be found also in Israeli society, with right wing and left wing separated clearly. The political environments inside government is, or at least was, very similar as well. According to a famous Taiwanese writer Long Yingtai, once inside the cabinet, representatives often harassed, cursed each other harshly and even sometimes sparked fights. Meanwhile, the same heated atmosphere was pretty prevailed in Israeli Knesset. I don’t know if the situation gets better now. But compared to other mature guys in “senior” democratic countries, Israeli and Taiwanese politicians do seem like more combustible. Israel and Taiwan are both young. Israel is a democratic country since 1948, and Taiwan’s political scheme started only from the late 80’s or early 90’s. That’s part of why the political environments there are so interesting.
- Relationships with the US… are close and… good. So deeply their political climate is affected by their strongest ally America. A friendly or less friendly US administration can even be as important as their own governments. As usual friends of the US buy weapons, collaborate on military projects or get economical aid if needed and many more. Why the US support both Israel and Taiwan can be explained way differently (depending on your literacy :P). It feels stupid even to talk about it imo 😛
- Geological situation. Taiwan is small, Israel is smaller. I suck at memorizing numbers, but I know roughly Taiwan is two times larger than Beijing, and Israel is as big as Beijing + Tianjin (Tianjin is smaller than Beijing, and hopefully Beijing won’t expand anymore! Thank you!). In such tiny places, they both have multiple geological characteristics like great mountains, beautiful lakes and sunny beaches. Mt. Hermon vs. Mt. Yushan, Galilee vs. Riyue Tan… And if wiped out by enemy, they can only live in the sea… Oops, Taiwanese won’t be wiped out though!
- Economy and Industries. Here’s an exciting one. Israel recently joined OECD, which is a strong proof of its prosperity. Taiwan has long been famous for being one of the four dragons in Asia. We can see they are both close to the first world. Also their high-tech industries are leading force of their economies. HTC has the worlds best Android phone imo, MSI’s products are not bad at industrial design, Acer is hot in mainland China. As to say Israel, just take a look at ISRAEL21C and you get a clue. Small start-ups are everywhere in Tel Aviv and Herzlya. Just to name one, Soluto just won a TechCrunch award, not to mention what those big names’ branches in Israel have achieved like Google, Intel, IBM and the likes.
- Enemies. Well, if I remember it right I once wrote a blog “Iran and China”, discussing the similarities the two regimes share. How exciting that now I’m writing Israel and Taiwan. I don’t do this on purpose, mate! So their enemies are huuuuge, militarily and on size. Here we need to calculate the military capability and size of Israel’s enemies by adding all the hostile Muslim countries up. Although there’re differences between the types of threats, I only talk about similarities here.
Think I may be able to come up with more ideas later. But according to limited knowledge of the real relationships between Israel and Taiwan, they seem not to be BFF’s as they’re supposed to be. The fact is, despite unconditional condemnations from China, despite China’s long-lasted friendship with Arab oil countries, despite China included in the worlds’ few countries that recognize Hamas as legitimate, Israel always tirelessly seeks to get support from Beijing. Israel not only help China on agriculture and clean tech, but also it sold weapons. At first I don’t consider this as a big problem. But gradually I realize Harpy is here. Right near me in suburban Hangzhou. The intention of such deployment is so apparent. If one day in the future, the relationship between Taiwan and China gets intense, or just some military fanatics in the PLA get mad, the Harpy squad might be moved to Fujian or Guangdong province. We have seen a perfect demo back in Beeka Valley. We all know what it means to launch them unto Taiwan. Does Israel not care? But can Israel afford to have a hostile China?