Elon Musk’s Starlink inspires Taiwan to build a similar system in case China attacks

In the years before Russia invaded Ukraine, there was another scenario that made foreign policy even more anxious: China and Taiwan. Although it has never ruled it, China considers Taiwan its territory and has vowed to “reunify” the island with mainland China – by force if necessary. White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said today to prevent war with China because of Taiwan would be “hard work” and requires “coordination with allies.”

However, China may be rethinking its invasion of Taiwan after witnessing Russia’s disastrous war in Ukraine, and a big reason for Ukraine’s success is its stable internet connections. is provided by Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite system. space, has allowed Kiev to claim contact with the military despite Russian attacks on communications infrastructure. Now, Taiwan, after following the conflict in Ukraine, has planned to build its own version of Starlink, the Financial Times reportquoted three people familiar with the situation.

Taiwan’s space agency, TASA, is currently in early talks with domestic and international investors to raise capital for the project. A senior TASA official told the British newspaper: “We will turn the low-Earth orbit satellite communication project into a company.

In Ukraine, Russian forces disrupted internet services during their invasion last February. But later that month, Musk activated Starlink across Ukraine, at the request of Mykhaylo Fedorov, the nation’s deputy prime minister.

“The Starlink service is currently operating in Ukraine. More terminals on the go,” Musk tweeted.

Ukraine has so far received about 22,000 antennas, with 10,000 more expected to arrive in the coming months, Fedorov told Bloomberg last month.

The antenna, which can be powered by generators if the grid becomes inoperable, has helped Ukrainian forces and civilians in many ways. For example, the military used drones connected to Starlink to drop anti-tank bullets on Russian positions.

Not that Starlink was designed with such activities in mind. The main idea is to provide satellite internet connection to places where telecommunications infrastructure is lacking. But an invaded country is often just that, thanks to attacks on infrastructure.

In October, Musk clutched that SpaceX – recently valued at $137 billion—was unable to “indefinitely” provide Starlink service to Ukraine, but he quickly withdrew after the backlash. That followed him stir up commotion by proposing that Russia be allowed to keep the Crimean Peninsula, which it seized in 2014.

“Damn it,” he tweeted. “Even though Starlink is still losing money and other companies are receiving billions of dollars in taxpayer dollars, we will continue to give free funding to the Ukrainian government.” In response to a comment that “no good deed goes unpunished,” he more“Even so, we should still do good deeds.”

But of course, such “good deeds” are not guaranteed. Taiwan, by building its own Starlink-like system, aims to be more resilient than relying on one company.

“Our primary concern… is to facilitate social resiliency, for example to ensure that journalists can send videos to… international viewers even in a single carpet. large-scale disaster,” Audrey Tang, Taiwan’s minister in charge of digital affairs, told the FT.

“Vision [is] does not tie herself to any particular satellite provider,” she added. “We want to work with as many of them simultaneously — that’s resilience.”

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