Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou called for calm yesterday in the wake of the latest propaganda video released by the Islamic State, the militant group also known as ISIS, ISIL and Daesh.
In the video called “No Respite,” ISIS lists a “global coalition” of 60 nations who are its enemies, included among the United States, Russia and France is Taiwan.
The four-minute long video has raised public concern that Taiwan, listed as a sovereign country, could indeed become a target for IS.
In response to media questions about the video, Ma assured ROC citizens that his government has been beefing up its counter-terrorist attack preparations.
“The government will take the necessary contingency measures to protect ROC citizens from being affected by possible terrorist attacks both internationally and domestically,” he said.
He urged Taiwanese not to panic over the IS video, but to remain cautious and stay on high alert, especially when travelling overseas.
Taiwan is providing some humanitarian aid and emergency relief to the U.S.-led anti-terror campaign without getting involved in military operations, MND spokesman Maj. Gen. Luo Shou-he told reporters.
The video has been released in multiple languages reported Heavy.com. The English version is directed at the U.S. and taunts the country to “Bring it on.” The videos in other languages carry a similar message.
The release of the video comes just days after U.S. President Barack Obama said that Taiwan is one of the Asia-Pacific countries in a coalition against IS, when he attended the ASEAN, East Asia summit.
Some Taiwanese netizens joked this means the ROC is “one big step closer towards joining the United Nations”, referencing the longtime contentious status of Taiwan, something that was once again highlighted in the recent historic meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Ma.
While there were Taiwanese on social media who did express genuine fear at the video and said they would avoid crowded public places, such as the capital’s Taipei 101 (previously featured in an IS propaganda picture), others were bullish. One even boasted, “Bring it on ISIS, we grew up with threats from the KMT and CCP.”
The PRC also made the ISIS enemy list. In the wake of the video’s release, as well as the recent execution of Chinese citizen Fan Jinghui by ISIS, the deaths of three Chinese executives in the siege in Mali and the killing of 28 militants in Xinjiang, there are also increasing questions about the role of China in the war on ISIS and global terror.
Many within China still believe that ISIS is largely a western problem. “The chaos in the Middle East has proven the failure of U.S. intervention policy, whether in the form of the Iraq invasion, drone strikes, air strikes, regime change or the arming of rebels,” wrote Chen Weihua in a The People’s Daily editorial.
By Daniel Paul