Taiwan had full 'grasp' of China's military drill near SW coast: MND

09/18/2021 06:43 PM
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A PLA Y-8 tactical reconnaissance aircraft. Photo courtesy of the Ministry of National Defense
A PLA Y-8 tactical reconnaissance aircraft. Photo courtesy of the Ministry of National Defense

Taipei, Sept. 18 (CNA) Taiwan had a "thorough grasp" of China's military exercise in waters off the island's southwestern coast Friday, according to the country's Ministry of National Defense (MND).

The military had a "thorough grasp and assessment" of China's military exercise, potential security threats facing Taiwan, and the situation in the region, the MND told CNA Saturday.

Earlier the same day, Shi Yi (施毅), a spokesperson for the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Eastern Theater Command, said the PLA had conducted a military drill in waters off the coast of southwestern Taiwan and in the skies over that area, the PLA's official newspaper reported.

Shi did not provide more specific information regarding the location of the exercise, saying only that the PLA had deployed naval vessels, early warning planes and bombers.

The exercise came the same day as Taiwan concluded its annual Han Kuang military exercises and as a United States Navy ship transited the Taiwan Strait.

Taiwan's military wrapped up the five-day nationwide drills on Friday that involved all MND branches and are aimed at testing the country's combat readiness in the face of a possible Chinese invasion.

Meanwhile, a U.S. Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Barry sailed through the Taiwan Strait from north to south on Friday, marking the ninth transit the U.S. Navy has conducted in the strait after President Joe Biden took office in January.

In addition, the MND also reported that 10 PLA planes flew into Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Friday and Taiwan's air force responded by scrambling planes to monitor the Chinese aircraft, issuing radio warnings, and mobilizing air defense assets.

The ADIZ zones are drawn up by countries to help them identify, monitor and control aircraft, but are not recognized by international law and are considered international airspace.

(By Chung Yu-chen and Teng Pei-ju)

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