Chinese military encroachment threatens peace: Taiwan's defense ministry

People's Liberation Army drill in South China Sea on Wednesday stokes regional instability

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Vice Defense Minister Chang Che-ping. (Ministry of National Defense photo)

Vice Defense Minister Chang Che-ping. (Ministry of National Defense photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense (MND) has commented on the episode Wednesday (Sept. 9) in which Chinese fighter jets intruded into Taiwan's Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ).

The defense ministry said the Chinese warplanes had been participating in a joint military drill between the People's Liberation Army (PLA) navy and air force, which kicked off Wednesday. Multiple military planes — including fighter jets and reconnaissance and transport aircraft — took off from China and later entered Taiwan's ADIZ.

Taiwanese military officials pointed out this joint drill was clearly aimed at diminishing the mobility of the Taiwanese military at the ADIZ. Also, that it had not been triggered by recent appearances of U.S. surveillance planes in the region.

MND denied rumors the PLA had encircled the Dongsha Islands (Pratas Islands) in the South China Sea. Instead, the PLA is reportedly conducting exercises in waters north of the Taiwan-controlled islands.

Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and defense ministry have both condemned the aggressive maneuvers by China, saying it disturbs regional stability. "Beijing should know where the bottom line is and stopping being a troublemaker," said Chang Che-Ping (張哲平), MND vice minister.