To deter China, Taiwan can learn from Ukraine and Israel-Hamas war

Taipei is preparing for possible conflict with cheap drones, better-trained troops and well-prepared civilians, writes Helen Fitzwilliam.

The World Today Published 1 December 2023 Updated 20 December 2023 3 minute READ

Helen Fitzwilliam

Journalist and filmmaker

Last November, Jonathan Tseng, a Taiwanese army veteran, died near Donetsk while serving in Ukraine’s Foreign Legion. The 25-year-old, like many Taiwanese, saw parallels between Taiwan’s resistance against China, and Ukraine’s existential struggle against Russia. It is thought that about 10 Taiwanese fighters are among the thousands of foreign soldiers facing Russian forces on the front line.

In Taiwan, Putin’s invasion of Ukraine was a catalyst for long overdue military reforms. Tseng wanted change. In an interview about his time in the Taiwanese armed forces, he said their reliance on Vietnam war-era strategies was outdated and many war games were too scripted to be realistic.

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