Taiwan President visits Air Force base following incursion by China jets

On March 31, jets from the Air Force base in Chiayi intercepted 2 Chinese aircraft

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President Tsai Ing-wen sits in an F-16V at the Chiayi Air Force Base Thursday (photo courtesy of Military News Agency).

President Tsai Ing-wen sits in an F-16V at the Chiayi Air Force Base Thursday (photo courtesy of Military News Agency). (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) visited an Air Force base in Chiayi Thursday to underline her concern about a recent incursion by Chinese jets.

Last Sunday, two J-11 fighter jets from China’s People’s Liberation Army Air Force crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait to approach to within 185 kilometers of the island. Taiwanese fighter jets from the Chiayi base intercepted the two, leading to a 10-minute standoff before the Chinese aircraft retreated.

Speaking at the base Thursday, the president thanked the military for protecting the nation’s air space and promised she would continue to fight to let the world know Taiwan would not compromise its sovereignty, democracy and freedom, the Central News Agency reported.

Accompanied by Defense Minister Yen De-fa (嚴德發) and National Security Council Secretary-General David Lee (李大維), Tsai first heard a report about the March 31 incident. She condemned the provocative actions of the Chinese military in the air, at sea and online as trying to change the status quo in Taiwan-China relations and threatening the stability of the region.

The president also climbed into the cockpit of an upgraded F-16V fighter jet to learn more about its handling, according to CNA.