Chinese military aircraft enters airspace near Taiwan

10/10/2020 09:35 PM
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A Y-8 Anti-Submarine aircraft. Photo courtesy of the MND
A Y-8 Anti-Submarine aircraft. Photo courtesy of the MND

Taipei, Oct. 10 (CNA) A Chinese military anti-submarine (ASW) aircraft entered Taiwan's southwest air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Saturday, while the country was celebrating its National Day, also known as Double Ten Day.

According to the Ministry of National Defense (MND), the Shaanxi Y-8 ASW entered the airspace between southwest Taiwan and the Taiwan-controlled Dongsha Islands, also known as the Pratas Islands, in the South China Sea.

Taiwan's military responded by scrambling planes to monitor the Chinese aircraft, issuing radio warnings and mobilizing air defense systems, the MND said.

According to MND records, the incident marked the 16th incursion by Chinese military assets into airspace or waters near Taiwan since Sept. 16, a day before the MND began regularly revealing Chinese military movements on its website.

Beijing, which considers Taiwan part of its territory, has increased the frequency of its military activities around the island in recent months as cross-Taiwan Strait relations deteriorate due to closer Taiwan-U.S. engagements.

On Sept. 19, as many as 19 Chinese military planes, including J-16 multi-role fighters, either crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait or entered Taiwan's southwest ADIZ, raising tensions in the region.

In her National Day address earlier Saturday, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) mentioned these security threats from China's military.

"For some time now, harassment by air and sea from the other side has raised tension in the Taiwan Strait," Tsai said.

"But our national military is closely monitoring the situation and responds promptly," she added.

Noting that "making concessions will not bring peace," Tsai stressed that Taiwan will continue to enhance its defense capabilities while doing its part to lower the risk of military conflict.

(By Emerson Lim)

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