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Taiwan monitors long-range Chinese military drill

2018/05/25 11:56:14

Taipei, May 25 (CNA) Taiwan closely monitored a long-range military drill staged by China with Xian H-6K strategic bombers flying over the Bashi Channel, the Air Force Command Headquarters of the Ministry of National Defense said Friday.

In a statement, the Air Force said two Chinese aircraft flew over the Bashi Channel, the waterway to the south of Taiwan, at around 4 a.m. Friday and then entered the Miyako Strait, also known as the Kerama Gap, a waterway between Japan's Miyako Island and Okinawa.

The two Xian H-6K strategic bombers were on a long-range air exercise and the Republic of China Air Force scrambled F-16 fighter jets to observe the Chinese drill, the statement said.

The Air Force said it has installed an advance warning system that provides intelligence on every move made by the Chinese military in the region and allows it to respond accordingly, thereby enhancing national defense.

On Thursday, a Chinese military airplane was spotted flying west of the median line of the Taiwan Strait when the Air Force was engaged in a training program as part of a rehearsal ahead of the upcoming annual Han Kuang military exercises, the largest military drill in Taiwan, scheduled for June 4-8 across the country.

A military enthusiast reported the sighting while using the Flightradar 24 app. The aircraft, believed to be a Shaanxi Y-8 transport aircraft, traveled along the west side of the median line of the strait.

The air force said it continues to closely monitor all military maneuvers by China and urged the public to remain calm.

China has increased its military activity near Taiwan over the past year, widely seen as part of efforts by Beijing to increase pressure on the administration of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), who has refused to accept the "1992 consensus" which essentially implies Taiwan and mainland China are a part of one country.

(By Liu Li-jung and Frances Huang)
Enditem/AW