Taipei, Dec. 27 (CNA) Defense Minister Feng Shih-kuan (馮世寬) confirmed Tuesday that Taiwanese fighter jets were deployed and took photos of China's first aircraft carrier as it sailed in waters off eastern Taiwan recently.
Feng said the military has many ways to conduct reconnaissance and collect information, and sending fighter jets to monitor the movement of the Liaoning and its escorting ships was one of them.
Asked why the military did not publish the photos of the Chinese ships as Japanese Self-Defense Forces did, Feng said it was not necessary.
Feng said China had said beforehand that it would conduct far-sea training, and because the Japanese Self-Defense Forces published photos of the mission, "there is no need for us to do so."
"We should hide our strength rather than put it on display," Feng said.
The most important thing is not to interfere with each other during missions, Feng said, noting that China followed this practice and did not enter Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ), Feng said.
China's mission in the Pacific was conducted in a peaceful manner, and Taiwan's military closely monitored its fleet's movement, Feng said.
The Ministry of National Defense said Monday that the Liaoning and accompanying ships were sailing 20 nautical miles outside Taiwan's air defense identification zone in the Bashi Channel between Taiwan and the Philippines at around 8 p.m. Sunday.
At 9 a.m. Monday, the Chinese warships were continuing to move in a southwesterly direction some 90 miles (150 kilometers) to the south of Eluanbi, Taiwan's southernmost point, it said.
An unspecified number of F-16 fighter jets and Navy warships were deployed in Taiwan's ADIZ to closely monitor the Chinese navy's formation, according to the MND.
(By Claudia Liu and Lilian Wu)enditem/ls