Taiwan F-16s chase away Chinese bomber

Eighth similar incident since August

A Chinese H-6 Badger bomber.

A Chinese H-6 Badger bomber. (By Wikimedia Commons)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – F-16 fighter jets of Taiwan’s Air Force took off Thursday morning to chase away a Chinese bomber, the military said.

Since August, there have been at least eight recorded incidents of Chinese military aircraft passing close by Taiwan, while pictures have repeatedly appeared on Chinese social media reportedly showing the country’s aircraft with Taiwanese mountains in the background.

According to unconfirmed reports by the Chinese-language Apple Daily, the pilots of the planes had a heated exchange, but the incident ended peacefully.

An H-6 Badger bomber approached Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone from the south on Thursday morning, reports said. As a result, Taiwanese F-16s immediately took off from Chiayi Air Force Base to intercept the plane.

The Air Force confirmed the event had taken place, but said it had ended without incident. It was however unwilling to confirm or deny a report by the Apple Daily about the conversation between the pilots of the opposing sides.

The publication claimed that when the Taiwanese pilots demanded the Chinese bomber veer away from Taiwan, the Chinese pilot complained that the F-16s were posing a threat to its safety. If the Taiwanese did not back off, they would have to bear responsibility for the consequences, the Apple Daily quoted the Chinese pilot as saying.

The Taiwanese pilots stood their ground and the confrontation ended without further incident, the report said.