Taiwan’s Air Force held exercises on Wednesday to simulate the interception of Chinese fighter jets amid heightened tensions with Beijing, Reuters reported.
Flight crews at a base in Chiayi that houses US-made F-16 fighter jets were trying to prepare the aircraft when alarms sounded.
The exercises should highlight Taiwan’s military readiness before the New Year holidays later this month.
Chinese planes have repeatedly breached Taiwan’s airspace in recent years, the most recent incident in November
“With the very high frequency of communist planes arriving at our ADIZ, the pilots in our squadron are very experienced and have dealt with almost all types of their planes,” Maj. Yen Hsiang-sheng told reporters about an interception mission late last year Chinese fighter jets, referring to the island nation’s air defense identification zone.
Although Taiwan is self-governing, China regards it as part of its territory and has repeatedly called for unification – with violence if necessary.
Taiwan views Beijing’s military invasions as a “gray zone war” aimed at exhausting its forces by keeping them on the border and testing the military’s ability to react.
This post first appeared on Nypost.com