A Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force spy plane on Monday flew near Taiwan’s airspace on the first day of the annual Han Kuang military exercises.
The aircraft, identified as an electronic warfare variant of the Shaanxi Y-9, flew over the East China Sea to the West Pacific through the Miyako Strait and proceeded south to the Bashi Channel in the West Pacific before returning home, the Japanese Ministry of Defense said.
Japan Self-Defense Forces fighter jets intercepted the Chinese airplane, it added.
The Chinese aircraft was attempting to collect radar systems parameters, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said, adding that Taiwan’s military had monitored the situation.
Monday’s Han Kuang drills simulated the dispersal of air force and navy units following specific intelligence indicating an imminent Chinese attack, the MND said.
The air force relocated its General Dynamics F-16, Dassault Mirage 2000 and AIDC F-CK-1 jets from air bases in western Taiwan to Jiashan Air Base in Hualien County, with mission-critical spare parts moved by Lockheed C-130 transports, it said.
The navy conducted an emergency evacuation of vessels from various military ports to safe zones at sea, where they prepared to counterattack, it added.
The army yesterday conducted a 25-minute live-fire counterattack drill near the Tamsui River (淡水河), the MND said.
The Sixth Army Corps Guandu Area Command is responsible for the security of northern Taiwan, including protecting Taipei Port and the Tamsui River.
Command personnel fought a simulated Chinese invasion on the opposite side of the river with CM-11 tanks and FGM-148 Javelin anti-tank missiles, as well as CM-21 armored personnel and CM-22 mortar carriers.
As the river estuary is just 8km from Guandu Bridge (關渡大橋) and 22km from Taipei, “Guandu Bridge is our last line of defense,” said Major General Lai Rong-jie (賴榮傑), commander of the Guandu Area Command.
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) was yesterday to observe live-fire drills at Jioupeng Military Base in Pingtung County, the MND said.
Separately, the Maritime Port Bureau said that the Chinese Air Traffic Management Bureau issued a notice that a spaceflight would take place over the Taiwan Strait from 9pm to 9:59pm tonight.
Chinese officials have declared a security warning zone from sea level to an indefinite altitude, it said, which could indicated that the activity is probably a spacecraft falling from orbit.
Taiwanese maritime traffic should not be affected, as the warning zone is outside of Taiwan’s territorial waters, it added.
Additional reporting by CNA
ADEQUATE COVERAGE: New Taipei City, which has more than 9,500 people under home quarantine, said it would add another 450 rooms at its disease prevention hotels The Taipei City Government has added a fourth designated disease prevention hotel, allowing people under 14-day home quarantine to isolate themselves from NT$5,000 per day, it said yesterday. The Taipei Department of Information and Tourism launched the first disease prevention hotel on Feb. 21 to accommodate travelers without a place to stay during mandatory home isolation or quarantine, and for people who want to separate themselves from their family members or roommates during quarantine. The department said that as of yesterday, more than 120 travelers have stayed at one of the city’s three disease prevention hotels, and their 178 rooms are nearly
MISINFORMATION: The 100,000 masks given to ally Paraguay were bought in other Latin American nations, not made in Taiwan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Taiwan has not yet reached a point where it can export masks to diplomatic allies amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday, dismissing as misinformation online reports that it gave away masks to curry favor with a diplomatic ally. “Taiwan provides med-ical aid to diplomatic allies based upon specific circumstances,” Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said, adding that the supplements donated by Taiwan were all purchased locally in allied countries, in accordance with their needs. “The time is not yet ripe” for Taiwan to export medical supplies, such as surgical masks, to diplomatic allies, until
An improvised protective device for use when intubating patients designed by Taiwanese doctor Lai Hsien-yung (賴賢勇) is being adopted in the Philippines to help doctors there stay safe amid the worsening COVID-19 pandemic. “We made this acrylic aerosol box for my sister Dra. Frances Legaspi for Antipolo Doctors Hospital. Credits to Dr Lai Hsien-yung for the concept and design,” Anton Legaspi, whose family owns a business that makes customized designs, said on Facebook on Monday. The hospital is in Antipolo, about 25km east of Manila. Legaspi’s post was accompanied by several photographs of the box and a short demonstration video
All state-run columbariums must strictly regulate how many visitors they host during Tomb Sweeping Day on Saturday next week to curb the spread of COVID-19, New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜) said yesterday. Hou asked people to use online worshipping services instead. Electronic “tomb sweeping” systems, which display a virtual altar for people to make offerings and say prayers, can reduce crowd sizes at columbariums, Hou said during a site visit to Shulin Life Memorial Hall (樹林生命紀念館), a columbarium in the city’s Shulin Disrict (樹林). Measures for admission control would be strictly implemented in state-run columbariums, Hou said, pointing to the Shulin