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Taiwan will act to defend airspace, borders: defense ministry

2017/12/07 21:10:27

CNA file photo

Taipei, Dec. 7 (CNA) The Ministry of National Defense said Thursday that the military will act appropriately to defend Taiwan's airspace and borders, after it was reported that several aircraft from China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) were seen conducting drills near Taiwan.

In a statement, the defense ministry confirmed that Chinese Xian H-6 bombers and other PLA aircraft had flown over the Miyako Strait and the Bashi Channel, which are both close to Taiwan.

The ministry said the military is closely monitoring all related developments and will take appropriate action to defend Taiwan's airspace and borders.

The statement was issued after Apple Daily reported that Taiwan's Air Force had scrambled F-16 fighter jets when a PLA aircraft was detected very close to Taiwan's Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) off its southern coast Thursday morning.

According to the report, the pilot of the F-16 jet asked the PLA aircraft to leave, to which the Chinese pilot responded by saying the Taiwanese fighter was posing a safety threat to his flight and told the F-16 to leave, "or face the consequences yourself."

MND spokesman Chen Chung-ji (陳中吉), however, said he could not confirm that part of the news report as it was summarized from a radio dialogue that took place at an unknown time.

He said that usually when Chinese aircraft are seen flying too close to Taiwan's ADIZ, military officers on the ground would use wireless communication devices to warn off the planes.

(By Lu Hsin-hui and Kuan-lin Liu)