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Ministry reassures public after news of PLA bomber deployment

2019/03/05 20:52:18

Image taken from ImageSat International's Twitter account

Taipei, March 5 (CNA) The Ministry of National Defense (MND) reassured the public Tuesday that the ROC military is closely monitoring Taiwan's air space and territorial waters, after news broke on Monday of Beijing's latest bomber deployment.

The military is monitoring the situation and there is no reason to panic, military spokesman Chen Chung-chi (陳中吉) said.

His comments came after ImageSat International (ISI), an Israeli-based satellite imaging service provider, tweeted a picture Monday of four Xi'an H-6 strategic bombers at Xingning Airbase in Guangdong Province, which is only 450 kilometers from Taiwan.

It was the first time in several years the bombers have been spotted at the base, ISI added.

Chen told reporters that the ISI image represents only a snapshot of one single moment, whereas the defense ministry actively monitors the situation 24 hours every day, to ensure it is fully aware of all such deployments.

According to online military magazine Defense Blog, the H-6 is designed for long-range attacks, stand-off attacks and can carry bomb loads ranging from 6,000-18,000 pounds with a combat radius of 1,100 miles.

Furthermore, an updated version of the bomber has a combat radius of roughly 2,200 miles, it said.

The last time the H-6 aircraft operated near Taiwan was on Feb. 27, when they flew to the South China Sea for routine distant-sea exercises from air bases in Guangdong Province, according to the MND.

(By Matt Yu, Chen Yi-wei and Ko Lin)