Taiwan to accept Chinese military aircraft in distress: MND
ROC Central News Agency
Taipei, Dec. 12 (CNA) If Chinese military aircraft have to land on Taiwan because of a mechanical failure, Taiwan will allow them to do so based on humanitarian grounds, Defense Minister Feng Shih-kuan (馮世寬) said on Monday.
"Because the two sides of the Taiwan Strait are not at war at present, we should accept them out of humanitarian concerns," Feng said.
But the Chinese military aircraft will be required to leave immediately after being repaired, Feng said at a Foreign and National Defense Committee hearing at the Legislative Yuan.
Also at the hearing, Legislator Tsai Shih-ying (蔡適應) of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party asked about Chinese aircraft that flew around Taiwan again on Dec. 10.
Tsai wondered why Japan claimed there were only six aircraft on the mission, while the ministry said there were more than 10 aircraft.
Feng responded that Japan was withholding information so that China was in the dark about its ability to collect information, and said the ministry's making public its knowledge of more than 10 aircraft was also a strategy related to its reconnaissance abilities.
He declined to elaborate further, saying simply "the approaches of both Taiwan and Japan are correct."
Chinese military aircraft circled around Taiwan for the second time in two weeks but did not enter the country's air defense identification zone.
The four aircraft that passed outside the zone in southern Taiwan were part of a fleet of 10 from the Eastern Theater Command of the People's Liberation Army Air Force that was on a long-distance training mission.
A similar mission was flown by China on Nov. 25 when six of its military aircraft -- two H-6K bombers, one TU-154 surveillance aircraft, one Y-8 surveillance plane and two Su-30 fighters -- circled outside Taiwan air defense identification zone.
(By Wang Cheng-chung and Lilian Wu)
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