Taipei criticises Chinese military jet flights
Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence said that numerous Chinese military fighter jets, surveillance and transport planes operated near Taiwan around noon but were closely monitored.
“China’s recent military moves to escalate tensions and challenge the status quo (in the Taiwan Strait) have made neighbouring countries in the region nervous,’’ Taiwan’s presidential spokesman Alex Huang said in a statement.
On March 31, two Chinese fighter jets provocatively crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait in China’s first incursion across the line since 1999, the state-run Central News Agency said.
The group of Chinese planes, consisting of KJ-500 airborne early warning and control aircraft as well as other fighters, flew over Bashi Channel, a waterway separating Taiwan and the Philippines.
Taiwan promptly sent aircraft and surveillance ships to monitor the manoeuvre, the ministry said.
All Chinese military planes returned to Southern China along the same route, with the exception of a bomber flying over the Miyako Strait, near Japan’s Okinawa Island, the ministry said.
Taiwan has had its own government since 1949, when the Chinese Nationalists (KMT) fled to the island after losing a civil war to the Communists.