Taiwan will not permit Chinese saber-rattling to continue in its airspace: Tsai

Taiwanese president visits military base in Penghu, expresses confidence in nation's ability to defend itself

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Tsai Ing-wen visits Penghu's military base Sept. 22. 

Tsai Ing-wen visits Penghu's military base Sept. 22.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Tuesday (Sept. 22) emphasized that the Air Force will not allow China to engage in any form of saber-rattling in Taiwanese airspace, saying she is confident in the country's defense capabilities.

During her visit to the Magong Air Force base on Taiwan's archipelago county of Penghu, Tsai spoke to approximately 100 military officials about the recent wave of Chinese jets encroaching on Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ). She expressed gratitude for the pilots who have been intercepting the Chinese warplanes and labeled their efforts "heroic."

Tsai said she is aware of Beijing's provocative actions in the region but has faith that the Air Force is capable of protecting the country. She added that the country's well-trained military will not allow Beijing's show of force to continue inside Taiwanese airspace.

The president also assured Taiwanese that the nation's armed forces have the "ability" and "resolve" to safeguard their home and maintain peace in the region. She thanked the families of soldiers for their constant understanding and support, reported CNA.

Over the last few weeks, Beijing has repeatedly sent military planes and vessels near Taiwan. Since Friday (Sept. 18), 39 Chinese warplanes have crossed the midline of the Taiwan Strait and entered Taiwan's ADIZ at multiple locations.

Members of the international community, including the U.S. and EU, have criticized these actions. Taiwanese military analyst Su Tzu-yun (蘇紫雲) believes China will only bring more attention to the "Taiwan issue" with its aggressive behavior.