Taiwan looking into buying Israeli satellite

Monday, March 19, 2007 |  by Staff Writer
The Taiwanese government is moving towards the possibility of purchasing or leasing an Earth Remote Observation Satellite (EROS), made by the Israeli company of ImageSat.

Diplomatic difficulties are at stake as the planned $300 million deal could cause troubles between Israel and China as China has tense relations with Taiwan.

Taiwan currently uses a French-made satellite, EDAS, which has been orbiting Earth since 2004. Although it is technically a satellite for scientific purposes, experts believe it is also a surveillance satellite.

According to sources, the French maker said it limits observation and photography capabilities when it passes over China to relieve pressure.

In 2001, Taiwan had signed a contract with ImageSat to purchase footage taken by the Israeli satellite within Taiwan interests. The country hopes to expand its tracking ability by investing in the satellite.

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