Chinese aircraft avoided Taiwan's air defense zone: MND
ROC Central News Agency
Taipei, Dec. 18 (CNA) Chinese military aircraft have circled Taiwan twice in the past four weeks but did not enter the country's air air defense identification zone (ADIZ), a defense ministry spokesman said after the People's Liberation Army posted a photo of the aircraft.
Ministry of National Defense (MND) spokesman Major General Chen Chung-chi (陳中吉) confirmed the Chinese flights on Sunday but said Taiwan's military was able to stay on top of the situation and respond if necessary.
Chinese aircraft have twice circled Taiwan, on Nov. 25 and Dec. 10, by flying around southern Taiwan over the Bashi Channel before joining other planes over Japan's Miyako Channel before returning to China.
He was responding to a photo posted by the PLA's Air Force of a Chinese Xian H-6 bomber flying around Taiwan's periphery with two peaks visible in the background, sparking worries about Chinese encroachment of Taiwan's air space.
Chinese media said the peaks appeared to be Yushan or North Dawu Mountain, but Chen said that was merely speculation.
The reports also cited a Chinese netizen as saying that the two outcrops visible in the bottom right corner of the photo were Orchid Island (蘭嶼) (or Lanya) and Little Lanyu (小蘭嶼) off Taitung County in eastern Taiwan.
A former military pilot was quoted as saying that the Xian H-6 bomber, capable of carrying air-launched cruise missiles, may have been flying north at an altitude of 20,000 feet and was close to Taiwan's ADIZ outside Orchid Island.
(By Claudia Liu and Evelyn Kao)
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