Taiwan claimed that its airspace was breached four times on Aug. 25 by Chinese military aircraft, with officials suspecting that the move was aimed at testing the island’s capabilities to check air intruders and how fast it can respond, am730 reported Wednesday.
Xiong Ho-ji, major general of Taiwan’s Air Force Combatant Command, confirmed Tuesday that two Chinese Yun-8 transport aircraft breached the island’s airspace four times on Monday on their way to and from the South China Sea, the report said.
Two fighter jets were sent up in the air to warn off the Chinese aircraft, the official was quoted as saying.
Although the Chinese aircraft left without incident, observers raised questions as to whether they collected any data. Xiong declined to comment on this, the report said.
China last year unilaterally declared an air defense identification zone over the East China Sea, resulting in some overlapping with Taiwan’s air defense identification zone. Chinese military aircraft are said to have entered the overlapped area several times since then, prompting Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense to call such moves “unfriendly”.
Meanwhile, China has rejected Taiwan’s latest claim of the military aircraft intrusion, saying its aircraft had undertaken a “routine flight”, Reuters reported on Wednesday.
“Our military aircraft carried out a routine flight on the 25th in the relevant airspace, there was no occurrence of any abnormality,” China’s defense ministry was quoted as saying in a faxed statement late Tuesday.
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