Chinese media brags on Weibo about 'Taiwan mountains' behind warplanes

Chinese media circles 'Taiwan mountains' on image from 'island encirclement patrol'

Mountains of Taiwan supposedly circled in red. (Weibo image)

Mountains of Taiwan supposedly circled in red. (Weibo image)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Images of Chinese warplanes on Monday appearing to fly within view of Taiwan's mountains have been posted by Chinese media sites on Weibo, causing much consternation and concern in Taiwan, if they indeed were that close. 

People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) spokesman Colonel Shen Jinke said on Monday (Dec. 11), that a group of aircraft composed of Xian H-6 Bombers, Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets, Shenyang J-11 fighter jets, Tupolev Tu-154 reconnaissance planes, and an air refueling tanker conducted a routine "island encirclement patrol" to "safeguard national sovereignty." 

Chinese media outlets then embellished the story by posting images on Weibo of the warplanes with what appears to be mountains in the distant background, which are circled in red and then described as "Taiwan's mountains."

Map posted by Weibo user MBA张琪 showing approximate flight paths of the Chinese warplanes. 

Japan's military reported detecting the squadron of Chinese aircraft crossing the Miyako Strait, which is northeast of Taiwan before reaching the Bashi Channel on Dec. 11. 

Also on that day, Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense said that it monitored the activities of the Chinese aircraft and dispatched planes and ships to investigate and deal with the situation. It concluded that it was not an unusual situation as the flight path used by the Chinese aircraft was similar to previous patrols and that citizens should not be alarmed.