Taiwan scrambles fighters as Chinese jets again fly near island

Taiwan scrambles fighters as Chinese jets again fly near island

Reuters  | Sep 19, 2020 04:48

Taiwan scrambles fighters as Chinese jets again fly near island

By Ben Blanchard

TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan's air force scrambled jets for a second consecutive day on Saturday as multiple Chinese aircraft approached the island and crossed the sensitive midline of the Taiwan Strait, with the island's government urging Beijing to "pull back from the edge."

Taiwan's Defence Ministry said 19 Chinese aircraft were involved, one more than in the previous day, with some crossing the Taiwan Strait midline and others flying into Taiwan's air defence identification zone off its southwest coast.

It said China, which claims democratic Taiwan as its own territory, sent 12 J-16 fighters, two J-10 fighters, two J-11 fighters, two H-6 bombers and one Y-8 anti-submarine aircraft. According to a map the ministry provided, none got close to mainland Taiwan itself or flew over it.

"ROCAF scrambled fighters, and deployed air defence missile system to monitor the activities," the ministry said in a tweet, referring to the Republic of China Air Force, the formal name of Taiwan's air force.

Taiwan has complained of repeated incidents of Chinese aircraft near the island this year, and has regularly had to scramble its F-16s and other jets to intercept them.

China had on Friday announced, at a news conference in Beijing about China's U.N. peacekeeping efforts, combat drills near the Taiwan Strait and denounced what it called collusion between the island and the United States.

U.S. Undersecretary for Economic Affairs Keith Krach arrived in Taipei on Thursday for a three-day visit, the most senior State Department official to come to Taiwan in four decades, angering China. He left Saturday afternoon, according to Taiwan's foreign ministry.

'PULL BACK FROM THE EDGE'

Taiwan's Defence Ministry, in a separate statement, said China was carrying out provocative activities, seriously damaging peace and stability.

"The Defence Ministry sternly condemns this, and calls on the mainland authorities to control themselves and pull back from the edge."

China's widely read state-backed tabloid the Global Times, published by the ruling Communist Party's official People's Daily, said in a Saturday editorial that Friday's drills were a rehearsal to take over Taiwan.

"The U.S. and Taiwan must not misjudge the situation, or believe the exercise is a bluff. Should they continue to make provocations, a war will inevitably break out," it said.

Both sides need to resume dialogue to reduce the risk of war, Johnny Chiang, leader of Taiwan's main opposition party the Kuomintang, wrote on his Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) page.

"People who are willing to play a communication role are stigmatised and people who clamour for war are regarded as heroes. Such an atmosphere is definitely not conducive to the peaceful and stable development of the Taiwan Strait," said Chiang, whose party traditional favours close ties with China.

Life has continued as normal in Taiwan with no sign of panic. The island has long been accustomed to living with Chinese threats.

Taiwan's people have shown no interest in being ruled by autocratic China, re-electing President Tsai Ing-wen in a landslide last year on what was largely a platform of standing up to Beijing.

The latest Chinese flights came the same day Taiwan held a memorial service for former president Lee Teng-hui, dubbed "Mr. Democracy" for ending autocratic rule in favour of free elections and championing Taiwan's separate identity from China.

Lee, who died in July, became Taiwan's first democratically elected president in March 1996 after eight months of intimidating war games and missile tests by China in waters around the island.

© Reuters. Tsai Ing-wen, Keith Krach and Morris Chang attend a banquet for the U.S. delegation in Taipei

Those events brought China and Taiwan to the verge of conflict, prompting the United States to send an aircraft carrier task force to the area in a warning to Beijing's government.

Related News

Latest comments

Add a Comment
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Jerry Kobylt
Jerry Kobylt

Taiwan doesn't want to be a part of China. What part of this does China not understand?  ... (Read More)

Sep 19, 2020 01:52 GMT· Reply
Discussion
Write a reply...
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.

Trading in financial instruments and/or cryptocurrencies involves high risks including the risk of losing some, or all, of your investment amount, and may not be suitable for all investors. Prices of cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile and may be affected by external factors such as financial, regulatory or political events. Trading on margin increases the financial risks.
Before deciding to trade in financial instrument or cryptocurrencies you should be fully informed of the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite, and seek professional advice where needed.
Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. The data and prices on the website are not necessarily provided by any market or exchange, but may be provided by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual price at any given market, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Fusion Media and any provider of the data contained in this website will not accept liability for any loss or damage as a result of your trading, or your reliance on the information contained within this website.
It is prohibited to use, store, reproduce, display, modify, transmit or distribute the data contained in this website without the explicit prior written permission of Fusion Media and/or the data provider. All intellectual property rights are reserved by the providers and/or the exchange providing the data contained in this website.
Fusion Media may be compensated by the advertisers that appear on the website, based on your interaction with the advertisements or advertisers.

English (USA) English (UK) English (India) English (Australia) English (South Africa) English (Philippines) English (Nigeria) Deutsch Español (España) Español (México) Français Italiano Nederlands Português (Portugal) Polski Português (Brasil) Русский Türkçe ‏العربية‏ Ελληνικά Svenska Suomi עברית 日本語 한국어 简体中文 繁體中文 Bahasa Indonesia Bahasa Melayu ไทย Tiếng Việt हिंदी
Sign out
Are you sure you want to sign out?
NoYes
CancelYes
Saving Changes

+

Download the Investing.com App

Get free real time quotes, charts and alerts on stocks, indices, currencies, commodities and bonds. Get free top of the line technical analysis/predictors.

Investing.com is better on the App!

More content, faster quotes and charts, and a smoother experience is available only on the App.

';