As Taiwan celebrated its independence day earlier this month, Taiwanese officials explained why they admire Israel. In the high-tech field, one official explained: “We don’t see Israel as a rival but as a good example for us to follow suit.”

Watch: Taiwanese officials explain why they admire Israel

Can’t see video? – Click Here

Taiwan’s National Day was celebrated about two weeks ago. Aside from the counter-terrorism unit’s show of force during the official parade, the event was full of color and optimism, a kind of anti-thesis to China, which considers Taiwan a rebellious province.

“Even though we have the military capabilities, we are not interested in a war,” Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said during her speech at the parade. “At the same time, we will continue to preserve the freedom, democracy and Taiwan’s way of life, and we will ensure the right of Taiwan’s residents to determine their future.”

Parade in Taiwan

Parade in Taiwan Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

While Taiwan has the 22nd wealthiest economy in the world, the director-general of the Economic Development Ministry is stressing the importance of receiving international recognition. “We are a nation, and I think we deserve what should be rightful for us,” she told Channel 2 News’ Arad Nir, who visited Taiwan during the independence day celebrations. “Even though, economically, we are a very important player in the world, I think there’s more than just [an] economic aspect of us being in the international community.”

Like Israel, Taiwan prides itself on being an innovation nation. According to the Economic Development Ministry’s director-general, Taiwan admires Israel’s accomplishments in the high-tech field: “We don’t see Israel as a rival but as a good example for us to follow suit.”

Most of Taiwan’s 23 million residents have not heard about Israel or the conflict with the Palestinians but those who have are fans of the tiny state in the Middle East that against all odds defeated its many enemies and became the start-up nation. “We should learn from Israel,” the director-general of Taiwan’s Foreign Affairs Ministry stated.