Taiwan Warns Off Chinese Fighters That Approached Island

June 9, 2020 Updated: June 9, 2020

TAIPEI—Taiwan’s air force warned off several Chinese fighter jets that briefly entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone to its southwest on June 9, the defense ministry stated.

The Su-30 fighters, some of China’s most advanced jets, were given verbal warnings to leave and Taiwanese air force jets “drove away” the intruders, the ministry added.

Taiwan has complained that China, which claims the democratic island as its own, has stepped up military activities in recent months, menacing Taiwan even as the world deals with the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic.

China says such exercises are nothing unusual.

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Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen visits the 6th Army Command, ahead of Lunar New Year, in Taoyuan, Taiwan, on Jan. 25, 2019. (Tyrone Siu/Reuters)

China has never renounced the use of force to bring Taiwan under its control. One of China’s most senior generals in May said China would attack if there was no other way of stopping Taiwan from becoming independent.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen says Taiwan is already an independent country called the Republic of China, its official name. China calls Tsai a separatist.

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Taiwan navy’s Perry-class frigate launches an ASROC (anti-submarine rocket) during a naval exercise off Hualien County, eastern Taiwan, on May 22, 2019. (Chiang Ying-ying/AP Photo)

The United States has stepped up its military activities near the island, too, with semi-regular Navy voyages through the narrow Taiwan Strait.

A U.S. C-40A, a military version of the Boeing 737, had entered Taiwanese air space with permission, though it didn’t land at any Taiwanese airports, Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said in a separate statement on June 9.

The U.S. aircraft departed from Japan’s Okinawa island, where there is a major U.S. air base, and flew over northern and western Taiwan on its way to Southeast Asia, Taiwanese media reported.

While Washington and Taipei have no formal diplomatic ties, the United States is Taiwan’s strongest international supporter and main arms supplier, becoming another source of U.S.–China tension.

By Ben Blanchard and Yimou Lee

Epoch Times staff contributed to this report.