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Taiwan deploys jets, mobile air defence system to monitor China drills

Taiwan’s defence forces deployed F-16 fighter jets, a mobile air defence system and a surveillance drone to monitor and shadow China’s drills around the island, footage released on Friday (May 24) showed.

The two days of drills in the Taiwan Strait and around groups of Taiwan-controlled islands near the Chinese coast, which a Taiwanese official said included the mock bombing of foreign vessels, started just three days after new President Lai Ching-te took office. Taiwan has condemned China’s actions.

A senior Taiwan security official told Reuters that several Chinese bombers conducted mock attacks on foreign vessels near the eastern end of the Bashi Channel, which separates Taiwan from the Philippines, practicing how to seize “total control” of areas west of the first island chain. The first island chain refers to the area that runs from Japan through Taiwan, the Philippines and on to Borneo, enclosing China’s coastal seas.

Analysts, regional diplomats and senior Taiwan officials noted the scale of the drills so far were smaller than the similar exercises in 2022 and were widely anticipated by Taiwanese and foreign officials, but they still raised the risk of accidents or miscalculations.


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Last Updated: 23rd Jun 2024