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DEFENSE/Taiwan can exercise self-defense if territorial airspace violated: Minister

06/06/2024 06:16 PM
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Defense Minister Wellington Koo. CNA photo June 6, 2024
Defense Minister Wellington Koo. CNA photo June 6, 2024

Taipei, June 6 (CNA) Defense Minister Wellington Koo (顧立雄) said Thursday that the ministry can invoke the right of self-defense or take countermeasures in the event Chinese military planes fly into Taiwan's territorial airspace.

Koo made the remarks during a legislative committee meeting when asked about the ministry's definition of "first strike" and the right to self-defense.

As Chinese military aircraft have repeatedly flown close to Taiwan, the defense ministry responded earlier this year by updating its definition of "first strike," saying that any incursion into its territorial airspace and waters by aircraft or vessels would be considered a first strike.

On Thursday, Koo said at the legislative session that if China's People's Liberation Army unleashes a first strike, Taiwan's military can invoke the right to self-defense.

Therefore, if the forces of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) attack Taiwanese aircraft, vessels or facilities, Taiwan's main island and outlying islands, or any Chinese aircraft enters Taiwan's territorial airspace or waters which extend 12 nautical miles from its shores, the ministry can exercise the right to self-defense and launch self-defense counterattacks accordingly, Koo added.

In responding to a lawmaker's question whether the two-day large-scale military exercises around Taiwan, called "Joint Sword-2024A," conducted by China last month suggests more rounds of drills using the letters B, C, D later this year, Koo said the ministry continues to monitor the situation around Taiwan and the possibility of further Chinese drills cannot be discounted.

(By Wu Shu-wei, Matt Yu and Evelyn Kao)


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