Taiwan warned off Chinese J-11A fighters over Taiwanese airspace

Taiwan’s defence ministry says it warned off several Chinese fighter jets that briefly entered island’s airspace three hours ago learned GDC citing Taiwanese officials.

Chinese H-6N bomber accompanied by J-11A fighter jets briefly entered Taiwan’s airspace, prompting the island’s air force to issue verbal warnings and “active responses” to drive away the intruders, the Taiwanese defence ministry has said.

The incursion came as Taiwan announced that its largest annual live-fire drill would be held next month, including computer simulations and an exercise to defend against forces landing on the island.

China has ramped up fighter flights and warship crossings near Taiwan or through the Taiwan Strait since President Tsai Ing-wen was first elected in 2016. Beijing, which claims the self-ruled island as its own, views Tsai as a separatist bent on formal independence for Taiwan.

On February 10, a Chinese military jet briefly crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait separating the two sides in the first significant incursion since Tsai’s landslide re-election in January.

Since then, Taiwan has reported two Chinese air force drills near the island. A Chinese aircraft carrier and five warships also sailed close to Taiwan in April.

Beijing has vowed to one day seize Taiwan, by force if necessary.

Speaking at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People on May 29, Li Zuocheng, chief of the Joint Staff Department, reiterated that China is prepared to use all means necessary to prevent Taiwan from becoming independent.

“If the possibility for peaceful reunification is lost, the people’s armed forces will, with the whole nation, including the people of Taiwan, take all necessary steps to resolutely smash any separatist plots or actions,” said Li.

“We do not promise to abandon the use of force, and reserve the option to take all necessary measures, to stabilise and control the situation in the Taiwan Strait,” he added.

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The United States has stepped up its military activities near the island too, with semi-regular navy voyages through the narrow Taiwan Strait.

In a separate statement on Tuesday, Taiwan’s defence ministry said a US C-40A, a military version of the Boeing 737, had entered Taiwanese airspace with permission, though it did not land at any Taiwanese airports.

The US aircraft took off from Japan’s Okinawa island, where there is a major US airbase, and flew over northern and western Taiwan on its way to Southeast Asia, Taiwanese media reported.

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