Warplane incident resolved
An Indigenous Defense Fighter jet that appeared to malfunction in mid-air landed safely at the Ching Chuan Kang Air Base in Taichung yesterday, the air force said. Ground crew spotted the plane’s apparent malfunction and instructed the pilot to land immediately, the air force said in a statement. The incident happened during an aerial rehearsal ahead of an open day at the air base tomorrow, the air force said. The air force said that the incident was caused by a defective exhaust nozzle sleeve. A preliminary investigation indicated that the malfunctioning component allowed flames to shoot from the nozzle walls, it said. The engine remained intact and no foreign object or internal object damage was detected, it added. The jet is to undergo repairs, it said without elaborating.
Chinese craft detected
Thirty-three Chinese warplanes were detected in the nation’s air defense identification zone in the 24 hours to 6am yesterday, including eight that crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait, the Ministry of National Defense said. Six J-10 and two J-16 fighters crossed the median line, while a Y-8 anti-submarine warfare plane and a Y-9 electronic warfare aircraft flew close to the southwestern boundary of the zone before turning back, flight path information released by the ministry showed. In addition, six Chinese military vessels were detected in waters around Taiwan during the same 24-hour period, it said. The ministry deployed aircraft, ships and coastal missile systems in response to the situation, it said.
Live-fire drills unveiled
The air force and navy are to jointly conduct annual live-fire exercises using air-to-air and anti-ship missiles in waters off the southeastern coast for three days from Tuesday next week, a military source said. Dubbed a “precision missile drill,” the testing is a major military exercise organized alternately by the air force and the navy every year to assess combat readiness, the source said. Air force fighters — Mirage-2000 5s, domestically made Indigenous Defense Fighters and F-16Vs — would fire “shoot and forget” AIM-120 medium-range air-to-air MICAs made by European missile maker MBDA, the source said. The navy would launch Taiwan-made Hsiung Feng anti-ship missiles at four decommissioned vessels, including two Ching Chiang-class patrol vessels, and two rescue and salvage ships, the source said.
Perseids to peak on Sunday
The peak of the annual Perseid meteor shower is to occur on Sunday, with conditions to spot “shooting stars” expected to be the best for the past few years, the Taipei Astronomical Museum said on Wednesday. The meteor shower, famed for long-lasting streaks of light, is expected to provide views of up to 100 meteors per hour, the museum said. Due to a waning crescent moon, which will not rise until 3am on Monday, stargazing should be relatively easy, it said. The best Perseid performance on record was in 1993, when there were up to 300 meteors visible an hour, NASA said. The Perseids, considered one of the most spectacular meteor showers — along with the Quadrantids in January and the Geminids in December — are active from July 17 to Aug. 24 this year, the museum said. Clear skies are forecast in northern and eastern Taiwan over the weekend, while rain is likely elsewhere, the Central Weather Bureau said.
The coast guard on Friday took a Chinese fishing boat and the 17 people on board into custody, after it rammed into a patrol boat while attempting to flee. A 100-tonne coast guard vessel at about 8am discovered a Chinese fishing boat illegally operating in waters about 11 nautical miles (20.4km) northwest of Hsinchu, the Hsinchu offshore flotilla of the Coast Guard Administration said. The crew refused to allow law enforcement to board the ship and attempted to flee, it added. The coast guard vessel and another ship chased the fishing boat for about a half hour, during which time the Chinese boat
Vice President William Lai (賴清德) yesterday said that Beijing was trying to “annex” Taiwan, while China said its recent series of drills near Taiwan are aimed at combating the “arrogance” of separatist forces. The Ministry of National Defense earlier this month said that it had observed dozens of Chinese fighters, drones, bombers and other aircraft, as well as warships and the Chinese aircraft carrier Shandong, operating nearby. The increased frequency of China’s military activities has raised the risk of events “getting out of hand” and sparking an accidental clash, Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) said last week. Asked about the spurt
China’s Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hong Kong has asked foreign consulates in Hong Kong to submit details of their local staff, which is more proof that the “one country, two systems” model no longer exists, a Taiwanese academic said. The office sent letters dated Monday last week to consulates in the territory, giving them one month to submit the information it requires. The move followed Beijing’s attempt to obtain floor plans for all properties used by foreign missions in Hong Kong last year, which raised concerns among diplomats that the information could be used for
‘ABNORMITY’: News of the military exercises on the coast of the Chinese province facing Taiwan were made public by the Ministry of National Defense on Thursday Taiwan’s military yesterday said it has detected the Chinese military initiating a round of exercises at a bay area in coastal Fujian Province, which faces Taiwan, since early yesterday morning and it has been closely monitoring the drills. The exercises being conducted at Fujian’s Dacheng Bay featured an undisclosed number of People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) warplanes, warships and ground troops, the Ministry of National Defense said in a press statement. The ministry did not disclose what kind of military exercises are being conducted there and for how long they would be happening, but it did say that it has been closely watching