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

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

The annual event is attended by Holocaust survivors, local dignitaries, and foreign diplomats posted in Israel including Taiwan envoy to Israel Abby Lee among its speakers on May 6.

According to Taiwan News, the Chinese delegation reportedly only found out about her presence after they arrived at the event. They immediately protested with the organizers, asking for Lee to leave.

However, the demand of the Chinese delegates was turned down, leading them to walk out in the middle of proceedings. Organizer Shimon Sebag told Israeli media that everybody was welcome at the commemoration.

All groups, all religions, and politicians from all parties were welcome, Sebag said. The Chinese group told him they would leave, and within a minute, they stood up and walked out, he said, as per Taiwan News.

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

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

Of particular concern is the revelation that 9 of the aircraft crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait, breaching Taiwan’s Southwestern Air Defence Identification Zone (SW ADIZ) and entering its airspace. This development underscores escalating tensions between Taiwan and China, as such airspace violations are viewed as provocative actions.

In response to the detected presence, Taiwan’s Armed Forces, represented by the Republic of China Armed Forces (ROCArmedForces), have closely monitored the situation and initiated appropriate responses. The nature of these responses was not detailed in the statement.

The increased activity in the Taiwan Strait region comes amidst growing geopolitical tensions between Taiwan and China. Taiwan has long been a point of contention for Beijing, which considers the island a renegade province and has repeatedly expressed intentions to reunify it with the mainland, even if by force.

Meanwhile, The Taiwan Ministry of National Defence has issued daily reports on Chinese military activities for the past few years, including identifying those Chinese aircraft, drones, and balloons that are found to have crossed the Taiwan Strait median line to the Taiwan side.