Taiwan’s defense and foreign affairs officials call China’s military exercises a provocation and threat to regional security

Both the Ministry of National Defense (MND), and Ministry of Foreign affairs (MOFA), held unscheduled press conferences Thursday evening, September 10, in response to incursions into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) by Chinese military aircraft for the second day in a row.

The MND condemned China’s joint navy and air force military exercises as “provocative,” and MOFA called on international partners to pay attention to China’s “threats to regional stability.”

MND officials revealed that China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has been conducting large scale joint navy and air force exercises in the South China Sea September 9 and 10, as close as 166 kilometers from Taiwan’s main island, and between Taiwan and the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands.

In the last two days, the PLA Air Force has flown a total of 21 sorties involving 30 aircraft into Taiwan’s ADIZ, forcing Taiwan to broadcast warnings and scramble fighters in response.

At the same time, China’s PLA Navy has 7 ships operating in the area.

The MND condemned the exercises as a serious provocation. Deputy Defense Minister, air force General Chang Che-ping, described the actions of the PLA as “harassment,” and a threat to regional peace and stability. Chang said that the military maneuvers were located on international air routes, and could affect the safety of international flights.

Chang called on Beijing to rein in the PLA, and exercise restraint, saying the maneuvers have aroused the resentment of the Taiwanese people. They should stop being troublemakers, and instead make contributions to regional peace and stability.

A senior official of the Intelligence Office of the Ministry of Defense revealed that Chinese military aircraft, including Su-30, J-10 fighters, and Y-8 anti-submarine planes had flown from three locations in Fujian and Guangdong into Taiwan’s ADIZ to the southwest of Taiwan’s main island, while Chinese navy ships were operating to the north and east of the Pratas Islands.

The MND also released close-up photographs of PLA aircraft taken by Taiwan’s fighter-jets that were scrambled to monitor the incursions.

PLA air force Y-8 anti-submarine plane photographed in Taiwan’s ADIZ September 10, 2020. Picture: Ministry of National Defense.
PLA SU-30 fighter photographed in Taiwan’s ADIZ, September 10, 2020. Picture: Ministry of National Defense.

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