Taiwan says it’s prepared to defend itself — Reaction to pushy Chinese patrols — Strongly worded response to recent flybys by Chinese warplanes

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A Taiwanese Indigenous Defense Fighter (IDF) (below) monitors a Chinese Xian H-6 bomber near Taiwan’s air defence identification zone July 20, 2017. Picture taken July 20, 2017. Handout via REUTERS

Reuters

JULY 25, 2017 / 2:04 AM

TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan is prepared to defend itself against China if necessary, the self-ruled island’s defense ministry said on Tuesday, in a strongly worded response to recent flybys by Chinese warplanes near the island China claims as a wayward province.

China’s military has flown several fighter and reconnaissance aircraft near Taiwan for training exercises in the past few days, according to the ministry.

“The People’s Liberation Army has never given up on the idea of resolving problems through the use of military force,” ministry spokesman Chen Chung-chi told a news briefing.

“We believe in peace. We will not take the initiative that could lead to war. But we will not back down in the face of threats.”

Taiwan was strategically prepared to ensure Taiwan’s security in both the air and sea, Chen added, without elaborating.

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China’s aircraft carrier, the Liaoning. Taiwan has complained when it said Liaoning came too close to Taiwan

China has yet to offer an account of the recent drills near Taiwan. China’s air force said earlier this month its fighters and bombers had recently conducted “multiple” long-range drills far out at sea, including flying near Japan and Taiwan.

China has been increasingly asserting itself in territorial disputes in the South and East China Seas. Beijing is also worried about a government in Taiwan China fears is intent on independence.

Beijing has never ruled out the use of force to bring Taiwan under its control, and has warned any moves towards formal independence could prompt an armed response.

Proudly democratic Taiwan has shown no interest in being run by autocratic China.

China is in the midst of an ambitious military modernization program that includes building aircraft carriers and developing stealth fighters to give it the ability to project power far from its shores.

Reporting by Faith Hung; Editing by Ben Blanchard

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China H-6 bomber over Scarborough Shoal, the Philippines

2 Chinese bombers flew over Taiwanese airspace: Taiwan

Prime News, International (Taipei), July 22:- Two Chinese H-6K bombers have flown over Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone east of the island under the close vigil of the latter’s combat aircrafts, the Taiwanese Defense Ministry said.

Taiwanese fighter jets closely monitored the movements of the Chinese planes and never posed a threat to national security, the ministry said in a statement on Friday, and called for citizens to remain calm.

It is the first time the Taiwanese military has released photographs showing Chinese military aircraft, Efe news reported.

This year has seen a series of intrusions by Chinese planes and vessels — including aircraft carrier Liaoning — through eastern as well as western Taiwanese waters.

Meanwhile, Taipei has bolstered military exercises and taken steps to keep an eye on the passage of Chinese ships and aircrafts.

Earlier, on Thursday, Japan said 10 Chinese military aircrafts, including H-6K bombers, had overflown the East China Sea, passing through the Miyako Strait between Taiwan and Japan.

Since Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen — who is opposed to a union with China — took charge in May 2016, Beijing has stepped up the diplomatic siege as well as military intimidation of the island.

China considers Taiwan a renegade province and has refused to give up on the use of arms to gain control of the territory. (MR, Inputs: Agencies).

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