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DEFENSE/Air Force issues Chinese-English bilingual radio warning to PLA planes

07/09/2024 07:44 PM
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F-16 fighter jets. CNA file photo
F-16 fighter jets. CNA file photo

Taipei, July 9 (CNA) Taiwan's Air Force started in July to issue Chinese-English bilingual radio warnings when expelling People's Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft that fly into Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ), a senior military official confirmed Tuesday.

Air Force Chief-of-Staff Lieutenant General Wang Te-yang (王德揚) said the decision was made after considering three factors: enemy threat, the global situation, and aviation safety, without elaborating.

Previously Taiwan's Air Force only used Mandarin Chinese when intercepting PLA aircraft that fly into Taiwan's ADIZ because both speak the same language.

An ADIZ is a self-declared area in which a country claims the right to identify, locate and control approaching foreign aircraft but is not part of its territorial airspace as defined by international law.

Wang made the confirmation after a private-run social media page titled "Taiwan ADIZ" first noticed and made public the change on Monday.

A transcript which the page said was recorded during an exchange between Taiwan's Air Force and a PLA helicopter on Sunday afternoon, shows an identified member of Taiwan Air Force saying: "ROC Air Force on guard, attention, PLA aircraft over west of Taiwan, you have entered our airspace, influence our flight safety, get away."

The "Taiwan ADIZ" said it believes it's the first time Taiwan Air Force has used both English and Chinese when expelling Chinese military aircraft.

The page suggested the bilingual warning could be deployed to warn other foreign vessels and aircraft operating in the region.

The page is established by a team of part-time enthusiasts who track military movements around Taiwan, and listen in on, radio exchanges between competing militaries.

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇), a convener of the Legislature's Foreign and National Defense Committee, told local media that he believes the decision to add English to the Air Force's radio warning was made to follow common practice while operating in international airspace, given that English is a global language.

It is also meant to place the issue, which previously concerned only the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, on the world stage while at the same time highlighting the sovereignty of the Republic of China, Taiwan's formal name, in its airspace, the lawmaker said.

Wang also said that Taiwan and its most important ally, the United States, have regularly held military exchange and training programs.

Using English and Chinese when expelling PLA aircraft could also be regarded as a practice between Taiwan's military and its friendly counterparts, and it will be beneficial for Taiwan's Air Force training, he added.

(By Joseph Yeh)

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