Taiwan shows off US-made jets amid China row — Analysis

Taipei demonstrated its F-16V fighter aircrafts at night and pledged to protect the island’s self-governing government.

Taiwan’s military has responded to a slew of Chinese navy and air force drills near the self-governing island by showing off its F-16V fighter jets for reporters and promising to defend against any attacks.

Reporters were taken to the Hualien air base on Taiwan’s eastern coast on Wednesday and were shown a rare nighttime demonstration of the country’s most advanced jets, according to reports by Reuters and other media outlets. Ground crews showed how quickly they loaded weapons onto F-16Vs. The F-16Vs were taking off for reconnaissance and training flight.

The show of fighting prowess occurred amid growing tensions with China. Washington cut all military and climate relations with China after Nancy Pelosi, the US House Speaker, visited Taiwan in a controversial move earlier this month. Beijing also increased military exercises in Taiwan Strait. It has stated that it will unify with Taiwan, which is considered a separatist province, by force, if necessary.

Taiwan accuses China of ‘exaggerated tricks’

“In the face of the threat from Chinese communist forces’ recent military exercises, we have stayed vigilant while establishing the concept of ‘battlefields everywhere and training anytime’… to ensure national security,”The Taiwanese Air Force released a statement.

During Wednesday’s demonstration at the Hualien base, Taiwanese Defense Ministry spokesman Sun Li-fang said Chinese threats presented an opportunity for Taipei’s forces to sharpen their skills through increased drilling. “The Republic of China’s forces are confident, capable and determined to defend the safety of the Republic of China,”He stated, using Taiwan’s formal name that Beijing had claimed has been extinct since 1949.

Since Pelosi’s trip to Taipei and a subsequent visit to the island by another US congressional delegation last Sunday, Chinese jets have repeatedly crossed the unofficial media line into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ). The ADIZ was opened on Thursday at 05:30 local time. Two Chinese H-6 bombers and eight J-16 fighters, four J-10 Fighters, and four J-11 fighters were among the four that entered it. Taiwanese Defense Ministry claimed. They were jammed by Taiwanese fighters.

F-16V, a modified version of the US fighter-jet platform has been in use since the 1970s. Taiwan deployed its first squadron of F-16Vs last November after ordering 66 of them under an agreement with former President Donald Trump’s administration.



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