Taiwan scrambles to see off new Chinese air force incursion

Taiwan scrambles to see off new Chinese air force incursion

FILE PHOTO: An F-16V fighter performs at the commission of the first squadron of the upgraded F-16V fighters in Chiayi Air Force Base, Chiayi, Taiwan, Nov 18, 2021. (Reuters)
FILE PHOTO: An F-16V fighter performs at the commission of the first squadron of the upgraded F-16V fighters in Chiayi Air Force Base, Chiayi, Taiwan, Nov 18, 2021. (Reuters)

TAIPEI: Taiwan's air force scrambled again on Sunday to warn away 27 Chinese aircraft that entered its air defence zone, Taiwan's defence ministry said, the latest increase in tensions across the sensitive Taiwan Strait.

Chinese-claimed Taiwan has complained for a year or more of repeated missions by China's air force near the democratically governed island, often in the southwestern part of its air defence identification zone, or ADIZ, close to the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands.

Over a four-day period beginning on Oct 1, when China marked its national day, Taiwan said that nearly 150 PLA military aircraft entered its ADIZ, not territorial air space but a broader area Taiwan monitors and patrols that acts to give it more time to respond to any threats.

The latest Chinese mission included 18 fighter jets plus five nuclear-capable H-6 bombers, as well as, unusually, a Y-20 aerial refuelling aircraft, the Taiwan ministry said.

The bombers and six of the fighters flew to the south of Taiwan into the Bashi Channel which separates the island from the Philippines, then out into the Pacific before heading back to China, according to a map the ministry provided.

Those aircraft were accompanied by the refuelling aircraft, suggesting China refuelled the shorter-ranged fighters inflight, a skill that the country's air force is still working to hone to enable it to project power further from China's shores.

Taiwan sent combat aircraft to warn away the Chinese aircraft, while missile systems were deployed to monitor them, the ministry said.

There was no immediate comment from China, which has in the past said such moves were drills aimed at protecting the country's sovereignty.

Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT (13)

Gunman robs gold shop in Phetchabun

PHETCHABUN: A robber made off with 23 baht weight of gold ornaments worth about 670,000 baht on Monday.

24 Jan 2022

Legalisation of household cannabis, limited recreational use

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) drafted a bill to legalise the household cultivation and consumption of cannabis and its recreational use in some locations.

24 Jan 2022

Policeman who killed doctor enters monkhood

A crowd control policeman who hit and killed a woman doctor with his Ducati Monster motorcycle last Friday has entered the monkhood to make merit for his victim.

24 Jan 2022