TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Taiwan is closely watching the war in the Middle East sparked by the unprecedented attack on Israel by Hamas militants from Gaza for lessons amid what the self-governing island says is a campaign of intimidation and threats by China. The latest Hamas-Israel conflict has claimed at least 2,400 lives on both sides and is expected to escalate. Taiwanese Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng said on Thursday that the war “blew up so suddenly,” and that Taiwan plans to up its ability to forecast possible threats. China, which claims Taiwan as part of its territory, has conducted increasingly large military drills in the air and waters around Taiwan as tensions have grown between the two and with the United States.
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