Saturday, May 18th, 2024

Chinese delegation walks out of Holocaust memorial event as Taiwan envoy speaks

A Chinese delegation walked out of a Holocaust memorial event in the Israeli city of Haifa in protest over a speech by Taiwan’s envoy to Israel, Taiwan News reported, citing CNA.

Speakers at the annual event on May 6 include Holocaust survivors, local dignitaries and foreign diplomats posted to Israel, including Taiwan’s ambassador to Israel Abby Lee.

According to Taiwan News, the Chinese delegation reportedly learned of his presence only after arriving at the event. He immediately protested with the organizers and asked Lee to leave.

However, the Chinese representatives’ demand was rejected, leading them to walk out of the proceedings. Organizer Shimon Sebag told Israeli media that everyone was welcome to attend the commemoration.

Politicians from all groups, all religions and all parties are welcome, Sebag said. According to Taiwan News, he said, the Chinese group told him they would leave, and within a minute, they stood up and walked out.

Earlier in the day, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense issued a statement on Saturday revealing that a significant presence of Chinese military aircraft and ships had been detected in the vicinity of Taiwan.

According to the ministry, as of 6 am (UTC+8) that day, a total of 15 aircraft of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and 6 ships of China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) were seen operating around Taiwan.

Of particular concern is the revelation that 9 aircraft crossed the midline of the Taiwan Strait, breached Taiwan’s South-Western Air Defense Identification Zone (SW ADIZ) and entered its airspace. The development underscores rising tensions between Taiwan and China, as such airspace violations are seen as provocative actions.

In response to the identified presence, Taiwan’s armed forces, represented by the Republic of China Armed Forces (ROCArmedForces), have closely monitored the situation and initiated appropriate responses. The statement did not elaborate on the nature of these reactions.

The increase in activity in the Taiwan Strait area comes amid rising geopolitical tensions between Taiwan and China. Taiwan has long been a point of contention for Beijing, which considers the island a rebel province and has repeatedly expressed its intention to reunite it with the mainland, even if by force.

Meanwhile, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense has issued daily reports on Chinese military activities over the past few years, including identifying Chinese aircraft, drones and balloons that have been found crossing the Taiwan Strait midline and approaching Taiwan Are.

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