MND rebuts as 'fictional' report of China's jet fighter intrusion
ROC Central News Agency
By Lo Chu-tung and Sofia Wu
Taipei, Aug. 22 (CNA) A newspaper report claiming that two of China's Su-30 jet fighters intruded into Taiwan's airspace in late June was not factual, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said Monday.
The ministry was referring to an Apple Daily report that eight Chinese jet fighters -- six Su-27s and two Su-30s -- crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait in late June when they were chasing a high-altitude U.S. U-2 reconnaissance plane.
The Apple Daily further said a July 26 United Daily News article, which reported that one of China's two Su-27 fighters briefly traversed the Taiwan Strait median line while chasing the U.S. aircraft, was not correct.
"The exact number of Chinese jet fighters chasing the U-2 was eight, not two, and two Su-30s even flew in airspace 150 kilometers off Taiwan's eastern coast," the Apple Daily said.
Discounting the report as completely unfounded, MND spokesman Lo Shao-ho said the paper had seriously violated journalistic ethics and discipline in running such a false report.
"We protest the report and deeply regret the report," Lo said. Displaying the Chinese jet fighters' departure time and flight trajectory, Lo said that two of its Su-27s briefly crossed the Taiwan Strait median line in late June.
"We have also asked neighboring countries about the situation and they confirmed that no Su-30s have flown over waters off our eastern coast," Lo said.
Wang Hsuan-chou, a department chief at the Air Force Command, said Taiwan has a well-devised air defense system.
"All personnel are required to follow standard operating procedures in dealing with various emergency situations," Wang said, offering assurances that Taiwan's air defense network does not have any loopholes.
"There are no holes in our air defense system. We tolerate no gaps," he stressed.
Wang further said the two Chinese Su-27s crossed the Taiwan Strait median line for only about two minutes, and added that the brief intrusion was accidental.
He said that if China were to provoke any conflict, its jet fighters would have flown directly to Taiwan proper. He expressed regret that the paper did not check with the MND before running such an inaccurate report.
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