Taiwan simulates Chinese attack in military drill
Taiwan’s air force conducted a series of terrifying war games on Tuesday after Chinese fighter jets and nuclear-capable bombers entered the southwestern part of its air space over the weekend. Four of Taiwan’s Indigenous Defence Fighters practised high-speed landing and take-off drills yesterday in a bid to show China they were prepared for anything.
Colonel Lee Ching-shi said: “We are ready. We will not give up one inch of our territory.”
The large scale operation comes as Taiwan’s defence ministry reported eight Chinese bomber planes capable of carrying nuclear weapons, four fighter jets and one anti-submarine aircraft entered its air defence identification zone on Saturday.
Just 24 hours later, 12 Chinese fighter jets, two anti-submarine aircraft and a reconnaissance plane were also deployed.
The intrusion by the Chinese military was met by a warning by the Taiwan air force and its defence missile monitoring system was activated.
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China still considers Taiwan to be a wayward province, but the island nation sees itself as an independent state.
China has conducted a series of operations across Taiwan and in the disputed South China Sea in recent months.
However, the latest incident involved a greater military presence, as previous operations have involved around three military aircraft.
The timing of the operation comes less than a week after Joe Biden was inaugurated as US President.
Relations between China and the US have been strained during the Presidency of Donald Trump with disputes over the presence of US forces in the region.
Washington has also formed closer ties with Taiwan and last year agreed a historical Arms deal, worth around £3.7billion.
China’s aerial operation into Taiwan at the weekend also came as the US sent a vessel to the South China Sea.
A US carrier group led by the USS Theodore Roosevelt entered the South China Sea on Saturday and according to the US military it was there to conduct a “freedom of navigation” exercise.
On Monday, China’s foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian condemned the move and said the presence of the US military was a “show of force”.
He added: “The United States frequently sends aircraft and vessels into the South China Sea to flex its muscles.
“This is not conducive to peace and stability in the region.”
US state department spokesman Ned Price has said the US will continue to stand up for Taiwan and has urged the People’s Republic of China to back down.
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In a statement, he said: “The United States notes with concern the pattern of ongoing PRC attempts to intimidate its neighbours, including Taiwan.
“We urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure against Taiwan and instead engage in meaningful dialogue with Taiwan’s democratically elected representatives.”
China has since announced it will conduct further military exercises in the South China Sea this week.
China’s Maritime Safety Administration issued a notice that its vessels will enter the Gulf of Tonkin to the west of the Leizhou peninsula in southwestern China on January 27 until January 30.
Further details behind the operation were not made available by the Chinese authorities.
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