Taiwan appoints US-trained defence minister, China sends 8 jets into Taipei: Report

After a US-trained defence minister got appointed as Taiwan’s defence minister, eight Chinese fighter aircraft flew into the southwestern part of its air defense zone.

CNN cited Taiwan’s Defence Ministry as announcing on Friday that four Chinese J-16s, four JH-7s and an electronic warfare aircraft flew near the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands in the top part of the South China Sea.

“Nine PLA aircraft (J-16*4, JH-7*4 and Y-9 EW) entered Taiwan’s southwest ADIZ on Feb. 19, 2021,” the ministry said in a tweet.

The air force scrambled, with “radio warnings issued and air defense missile systems deployed to monitor the activity,” the ministry said.

Shortly before the defence ministry’s announcement, CNN quoted Presidential Office spokesman Xavier Chang as saying that National Security Bureau Director-General Chiu Kuo-cheng, who graduated from the US Army War College in 1999, would replace Yen De-fa as defense minister.

He further said that President Tsai Ing-wen expects Chiu to complete the next stage of military reforms, including planning for “asymmetric warfare,” focusing on high-tech, mobile weapons designed to make any Chinese attack as difficult as possible.

In recent months, China has increased its military activities around Taiwan, which Beijing claims as its own territory.

According to China, it is responding to what it calls “collusion” between Taipei and Washington, Taiwan’s main international backer and weapons supplier, CNN said.

Amid these intrusions, the Taiwan President has pledged to defend its territories and even modernise its armed forces.

In order to bolster its defensive capabilities, Taiwan is building a submarine fleet to mitigate Chinese nefarious designs to invade the island or install a naval blockade.

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In November, the United States and Taiwan signed a blueprint for closer economic ties in Washington.

Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping has already made his intentions clear about Taiwan as he has vowed to never allow the island to become independent and has refused to rule out the use of force if necessary.

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