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Taiwan Tensions Raise Alarms Over Risks to World’s Subsea Cables

Island’s government is moving to ensure it can protect its communications and respond to lost access quickly in the event of conflict or natural disaster.

Bloomberg business news
China Is Trying to Speed Up Seizure of Taiwan: Blinken

Surging tensions with China have prompted Taiwan to boost its military defenses. Now it’s heeding the lessons of the war in Ukraine to address one of its bigger weakness: the fragile undersea infrastructure that connects the island to the internet.

Taiwan has 14 subsea cables -- many little wider than a garden hose -- stretching thousands of miles and directly linking Asian nations including China to the US and other parts of the world. That’s a vulnerability the island’s government, seeing any interruption as potentially destabilizing, wants to minimize. A disruption in a conflict with China could result in Taiwan getting cut off from the world, similar to what happened to the Pacific Island nation of Tonga earlier this year when a volcanic eruption left it without internet access for more than a month.