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Taiwan Air Force jets return to sky after Chinese missile launches

Brave Eagle jet trainers, F-5 fighters resume training at Taitung's Chihang Air Force Base

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Brave Eagle jet trainer taking off at Taitung's Chihang Air Force Base.

Brave Eagle jet trainer taking off at Taitung's Chihang Air Force Base. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan Air Force aircraft resumed routine training on the east coast on Friday (Aug. 5), one day after China launched ballistic missiles near Taiwan as part of a military exercise.

At Taitung’s Chihang Air Force Base, two Brave Eagle jet trainers and four F-5 fighter jets took off for take-off and landing training, CNA reported.

Though military operations are gradually returning to normal, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said it detected and monitored three Chinese guided-missile destroyers and one electronic reconnaissance ship sailing in the waters east of Taiwan on Friday morning, per CNA. It said 10 Chinese naval vessels had been tracked taking part in exercises around the Taiwan Strait and crossing the Taiwan Strait median line.

The ministry said it issued radio warnings, sent aircraft and naval vessels, and deployed land-based missile systems to keep tabs on the situation.

China’s People’s Liberation Army launched 11 Dongfeng ballistic missiles into the waters surrounding northern, southern, and eastern Taiwan in several waves on Thursday. Beijing had announced on Aug. 2 it would conduct drills in six designated drill zones in waters close to Taiwan from Aug. 4-7, in response to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan from Aug. 2-3.

Pelosi is the first house speaker to visit Taiwan in 25 years, since Newt Gingrich’s trip in 1997.

Taiwan's MND on Wednesday (Aug. 3) accused China of blockading Taiwan with drills. MND spokesman Sun Li-fang (孫立方) said that some areas of the PLA's live-fire exercises encroach on Taiwan's territorial waters and endanger international waterways.