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Taiwan courts security ties with bigger friends as Beijing snatches al
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Taiwan courts security ties with bigger friends as Beijing snatches allies

HONG KONG/TAIPEI, September 14 ------ As Beijing intensifies its effort to further isolate Taiwan diplomatically, Taipei is actively but discreetly broadening security ties with regional powers beyond its long-standing relationship with the United States. From efforts to share intelligence on China’s military with India and the prospect of engaging Japanese experts in its submarine program, Taipei’s push is gradually bearing fruit despite sensitivities surrounding relations with Taiwan, according to government officials, military attaches and diplomats. As well as India and Japan, Taipei has targeted Australia and Singapore.

While the effort is being kept low-key to avoid further inflaming Beijing and adding to pressure on countries aiding Taipei unofficially, the moves mirror Taiwan’s more public “southbound” policy to deepen commercial and cultural links with the region. It also comes amid several recent successes by China in luring away some of the few nations that diplomatically recognize the democratically self-ruled island. While Taipei battles to keep its remaining formal allies, it is keen to deepen strategic ties with larger regional powers, sensing an opportunity as they too seek to cope with a rising China, Taiwanese officials say. “We want Taiwan and those countries to have more in-depth understanding of the strategic or security environment we are in,” Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu told Reuters.

As China grows more powerful and assertive, he said “many of these countries feel the pinch and they might want to know more about Taiwan as an interest to them, rather than something they want to avoid.”

Source: reuters.com