The air force on Monday scrambled to warn off approaching Chinese jets, the first time they were spotted near Taiwan’s air space at night, the Ministry of National Defense said.
Taiwan has repeatedly said that China has stepped up its drills near the nation when it should be focusing its efforts on combating the spread of COVID-19.
An unspecified number of Chinese J-11 fighters and KJ-500 airborne early warning and control aircraft flew into the waters southwest of Taiwan for nighttime exercises, the ministry said late on Monday.
They came close to Taiwan’s air defense identification zone at about 7pm, ministry spokesman Major General Shih Shun-wen (史順文) said.
“After our air reconnaissance and patrol aircraft responded appropriately, and broadcast [an order] to drive them away, the [Chinese] communist aircraft flew away from our air defense identification zone,” he said.
The maneuvers were part of the Chinese squadron’s nighttime training mission, the ministry said.
The military keeps close watch on the Taiwan Strait and its environs to ensure the nation’s security, and people have no cause for alarm, it said.
The last time that the Chinese military conducted a similar mission near Taiwan’s airspace was on Feb. 28, when an unspecified number of Chinese H-6 bombers flew over the waters southwest of Taiwan, according to ministry records.
There was no immediate comment from China’s military on the latest drills.
China has been flying what it calls “island encirclement” drills on and off since 2016 when President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) first took office.
The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened already poor relations between Taiwan and China, with the two sides accusing each other of spreading fake news, and Taiwan particularly angered by Beijing blocking its access to the WHO.
Taiwanese tourists on board a Kinmen cruise ship had a scare yesterday when it was intercepted by Chinese coast guards who forcefully boarded the vessel to inspect it. The Sunrise, a tourism ferry that operates between Kinmen and Xiamen, China, was sailing around the waters around the islets of Dadan (大膽) and Erdan (二膽) — both of which are part of Kinmen County — yesterday afternoon when it encountered personnel from China’s Fujian Coast Guard Bureau. China Coast Guard personnel forced their way on board and conducted an inspection for about 30 minutes before leaving, local media cited the tourists as saying. The
SEEKING CALM: The US called for maintaining the ‘status quo,’ while the Ministry of National Defense said it would not bolster defenses in the area to avoid raising tensions Taiwanese should have greater faith in the government’s investigation into the capsizing of a Chinese vessel that resulted in the death of two Chinese fishers last week, the Coast Guard Administration (CGA) said yesterday, adding that Taiwan abides by the rule of law. On Wednesday last week, a Chinese speedboat was spotted trespassing in “prohibited” waters within 1.1 nautical miles (2km) of the east coast of Kinmen. It fled after refusing the coast guard’s request to board the vessel, setting off a chase that led to the boat capsizing, with two Chinese fishers dying. Two survivors were deported back to China
KINMEN: Coast guards on both sides of the Taiwan Strait should prohibit the entry of illegal vessels into ‘restricted’ waters to uphold maritime safety, Chen Chien-jen said Premier Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) yesterday called for both sides of the Taiwan Strait to approach the security of Kinmen and Xiamen waters with rationality and equitability, following a boat chase that resulted in the death of two Chinese fishers last week. Chen was responding to media inquiries ahead of a legislative session amid rising cross-strait tensions following the capsizing of a Chinese speedboat off the east coast of Kinmen on Wednesday last week during a pursuit by the Taiwanese coast guard. The Ministry of National Defense established the boundaries of “prohibited” and “restricted” waters around Kinmen in 1992 to better protect
SOLID TIES: Two visiting Japanese lawmakers said they hoped that as president, William Lai would continue to promote parliamentary exchanges and partnerships Tokyo’s support for Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) wafer fabs in Kumamoto Prefecture bears “tremendous significance” on future industrial partnerships between the two countries, Vice President and president-elect William Lai (賴清德) said yesterday. Lai made the remarks during a meeting with Tsuneo Kitamura and Iwao Horii, two lawmakers in Japan’s House of Councilors, at the Presidential Office in Taipei. With TSMC’s first fab scheduled to open on Saturday, Lai thanked the Japanese government and parliament for their support, which allowed the fab to be completed in one year and eight months. Taiwan’s largest contract chipmaker earlier this month announced that