Taiwan: Fighter planes fire missiles as China military ramps up invasion sabre-rattling


China’s Southern Theater Command has produced a video demonstrating the military capability of the Chinese airforce amid tensions with Taiwan. Beijing launched military drills last week including sea and air joint exercises, north, southwest and east of Taiwan after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a defiant visit to the self-governing territory. 

In the footage shared on the Chinese social media site Weibo, a Chinese drone can be seen moving out of the storage before taking off.

Later two fighter jets are shown taking off before cockpit footage captures the moment missiles are fired at mid-air targets.

The planes are later shown taking part in night exercises. 

Taiwan’s defence ministry said on Saturday its forces scrambled jets to warn away twenty Chinese aircraft, including 14 that crossed the median line. 

Ms Pelosi’s visit last week to the self-ruled island infuriated China, which responded with test launches of ballistic missiles over the island’s capital for the first time and the cutting of communication links with the United States.

Some 10 warships each from China and Taiwan sailed at close quarters in the Taiwan Strait, with some Chinese vessels crossing the median line, an unofficial buffer separating the two sides, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

The island’s defence ministry said in a release multiple Chinese military ships, aircraft, and drones were simulating attacks on the island and its navy. It said it had sent aircraft and ships to react “appropriately”.

As Chinese forces “pressed” the line, as they did on Saturday, the Taiwan side stayed close to monitor and, where possible, deny the Chinese the ability to cross, the person said.

Taiwan’s transport ministry said on Sunday afternoon it was gradually lifing restrictions on flights through its airspace, saying notifications for the drills were no longer in effect.

But Taiwan would continue to direct flights and ships away from one of the drill zones, which China has never confirmed, off its east coast until Monday morning, it said.

China’s military has said the sea and air joint exercises, north, southwest and east of Taiwan, had a focus on land-strike and sea-assault capabilities.

The United States called the exercises an escalation.


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