Chinese military aircraft and ships appear close to southern Taiwan

Taiwanese military took emergency response measures: TVBS

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Chinese military aircraft over the East China Sea (file photo)

Chinese military aircraft over the East China Sea (file photo) (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - Four Chinese air force jets and two navy vessels appeared close to the coast of southern Taiwan Tuesday, cable station TVBS reported.

It was the first time such an incident occurred since Taiwanese voters went to the polls on November 24 to elect local government leaders and cast ballots in 10 referendums.

The four Chinese aircraft and two ships moved off the coast of southeast Taiwan and Pingtung County, and they went “back and forth to ‘harass’ Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ),” according to TVBS.

The cable station also mentioned that the Taiwanese military took emergency measures to respond in an adequate manner, but it provided no details about what those measures were or about the nature of the Chinese aircraft and ships.

Later in the day, the Ministry of National Defense confirmed the presence of the Chinese military vehicles. The aircraft were Xian H-6 bombers, Sukhoi-30 fighter jets and Shaanxi Y-8 transport planes who had taken off from the base of Huiyang in Guangdong Province early Tuesday, the Central News Agency reported.

According to Taiwan’s military, the Chinese aircraft flew over the Bashi Channel which separates the Philippines from the island, to the Pacific Ocean for routine maneuvers.

The two People’s Liberation Army Navy ships were thought to be participating in the same exercises after passing off Taiwan’s southeast coast, CNA reported.

For over a year, China’s People’s Liberation Army has been sending frigates, jets and bombers either through or over the Taiwan Strait or close to the island country’s ADIZ in a show of force to underline its threats of force should Taiwan move toward independence. The government in Taipei has called on Beijing to respect the status quo and refrain from provocative action.