TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Ministry of National Defense said Wednesday it would no longer issue reports about aircraft or ships from China’s People Liberation Army moving close to Taiwan after the latest incidents Wednesday.
Over the past few weeks, Chinese fighter jets have repeatedly flown closely to or even entered Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), resulting to pictures of Chinese jets, supposedly with the island’s best-known mountain peaks in the background. Chinese Navy vessels on their way to or from maneuvers in the Pacific or in the South China Sea also passed close by Taiwan, leading to speculation that the communist country was rehearsing an eventual invasion of the island.
Wednesday saw the 10th incursion of Chinese military aircraft into Taiwan’s ADIZ since the 19th Congress of China’s Communist Party last October, the Apple Daily reported.
The latest Chinese airplane appeared around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, and was met by the immediate takeoff of Taiwanese jets, reports said.
According to the Apple Daily, a radio amateur heard the Chinese crew say it was flying on a routine drill and demand no Taiwanese aircraft approach it, but the Taiwanese pilot reportedly replied with the short expression “Get back!”
The Ministry of National Defense was unwilling to confirm such a conversation had taken place, though it did say there had been a Chinese Air Force plane in the area.
As similar incidents had grown too common over the past weeks, the ministry said it would no longer report them unless there were special circumstances.
The military said several Chinese aircraft had moved either south of Taiwan, over the Bashi Channel which separates the island from the Philippines, or north close to Japanese-controlled islands.