PLA fighter jets conduct sortie as US military aircraft approaches Taiwan

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/6/18 20:47:45

Two J-10 fighter jets attached to an aviation brigade of the air force under the PLA Southern Theater Command taxi in close formation before takeoff for air combat training sorties on May 23, 2020. ( by Wei Jinxin)

Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) fighter jets on Thursday again approached Taiwan island, media reported, citing Taiwan's defense authority, leading Taiwan media to speculate that the PLA aircraft were monitoring a US plane flying near the island around the same time.

Not only was it the fifth such time in 10 days, but also the third consecutive day the PLA had sent warplanes near the island, which shows that the PLA has normalized this kind of operation, Chinese mainland analysts said.

PLA J-10 and J-11 fighter jets were spotted entering Taiwan island's southwestern "airspace" on Thursday morning, Taiwan media reported on Thursday, citing the island's defense authority.

Also on Thursday morning, a US Air Force KC-135 aerial tanker flew from Japan toward the South China Sea, passing above waters near southeastern Taiwan, Taiwan media reported.

It is likely that the PLA fighter jets' sorties were aimed at monitoring the US aircraft, the report said, citing military sources in Taiwan.

In similar flights near Taiwan, the PLA sent J-10 fighter jets and Y-8 aircraft on Wednesday, a J-10 on Tuesday, a Y-8 on June 12, and a group of Su-30 fighter jets on June 9.

Chinese mainland military experts told the Global Times previously that the PLA is making such operations routine at a time when Taiwan secessionists are increasingly seeking "independence," and foreign forces such as the US are interfering with aircraft and warplane sorties, as well as arms sales to Taiwan.

Global Times

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