The Taiwanese Ministry of National Defense has announced that China’s People’s Liberation Army Air Force, or PLAAF, boosting its presence in “sensitive areas” near Taiwan.
The PLA sent several dozens of military aircraft to Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) over the past three days.
Just last week, Taiwan Air Force fighters took to the air to intercept Chinese fighters and reconnaissance aircraft more than 20 times.
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Asked to comment on the high frequency of Chinese intrusions, Col. Lee Ching-shi, head of Political Warfare of the First Tactical Fighter Wing admitted that the Air Force is under tremendous pressure but will always be ready for combat missions to safeguard the nation’s airspace.
Meanwhile, Lee said the Taichung-based Third Tactical Fighter Wing has deployed another squadron of IDF jets at Magong Airport in offshore Penghu County, an archipelago of 90 islands in Taiwan Strait so that it will be able to respond immediately to any activity from Chinese military aircraft.
China has provided no public explanation for what its aircraft were doing near the Taiwanese coast. Washington responded by calling on China to cease pressuring Taiwan and reaffirming its commitment to the democratic island.
Taiwan’s air force is well trained, but has far fewer combat aircraft than China and has strained under the pressure of almost constantly having to scramble in recent months, responding to stepped-up Chinese activity near the island.
One PLA Y-8 ASW and three US aircraft (RECCE*2, TANKER) entered #Taiwan’s southwest ADIZ on Feb. 1, 2021. Please check our official website for more information: https://t.co/2Ai8isnqrf pic.twitter.com/07VlHnSQPX
— 國防部 Ministry of National Defense, R.O.C. 🇹🇼 (@MoNDefense) February 1, 2021
Five PLA aircraft (Y-8 RECCE, J-10 and J-11) and one US RECCE aircraft entered #Taiwan’s southwest ADIZ on Jan. 31, 2021. Please check our official website for more information: https://t.co/lklNSARfT4 pic.twitter.com/MAZZ5xdtoO
— 國防部 Ministry of National Defense, R.O.C. 🇹🇼 (@MoNDefense) January 31, 2021