Mirage 2000 fighter's crash reflects Taiwan military's lack of competence: experts
Published: Mar 14, 2022 09:34 PM
The night view of Taipei, Southeast China's Taiwan, June 20, 2019. Photo: Xinhua

The night view of Taipei, Southeast China's Taiwan, June 20, 2019. Photo: Xinhua

A Mirage 2000 fighter jet belonging to the island of Taiwan's air force crashed off the east coast of the island on Monday, only three months after an F-16V fighter jet crashed in January.

The accidents expose the Taiwan military's lack of competence in their attempts to resist reunification by force, and its second class weapons and equipment bought from external forces are no match to the overwhelming capability of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), according to mainland experts.

The air force on the island of Taiwan said on Monday that a Mirage 2000-5 fighter jet crashed during a routine combat training mission in the morning of the day, with the pilot safely ejecting from the aircraft about 10 nautical miles south of the Chihhang Air Base where the aircraft took off, Taiwan News reported on Monday.

A task force is being dispatched to Chihhang Air Base to investigate the cause of the accident, and crews are still searching for the  aircraft wreckage, the report said.

Since 1999, eight French-made Mirage 2000 fighter jets have reportedly crashed in Taiwan, including Monday's incident, Taiwan News reported.

It is not surprising at all that this kind of accident could happen to a Mirage, because the obsolete aircraft has not been properly maintained, Song Zhongping, a Chinese mainland military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Monday.

From a technical point of view, there are bound to be more crashes like this, Song predicted.

The latest crash comes after a US-made F-16V fighter jet of the Taiwan island's air force crashed into the sea in January, leading to the pilot's death, Reuters reported on Monday.

Reuters also reported the Taiwan air force's loss of two F-5E fighters in a mid-air collision in 2021 and the vanishing of another F-16 fighter in 2020.

The Reuters report went on to describe crashes during routine exercises and patrols of PLA aircraft in the region, suggesting that the crashes of Taiwan warplanes were indirectly caused by their exhaustion in dealing with the PLA warplanes.

Taiwan's air force said on Monday that the latest incident has nothing to do with intercepting PLA aircraft, and there had also been no PLA aircraft near Taiwan's east coast, media on the island reported.
Regardless as to whether the two things are somehow interconnected, Taiwan military's lack of competence which has been on display during the crashes makes its attempt to resist reunification by force a joke, Song said.
No matter what kind of arms the island buys, they are useless against the PLA's overwhelming capabilities, Song said, noting that the US had been exaggerating the capabilities of the second-class weapons and equipment they have sold.
The US only sees the island of Taiwan as a tool to earn money, Song said.
In response to media reports claiming that the Taiwan authorities recently signed a contract with the US to procure field combat communications system, Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson at China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said at a press conference on Monday that the sales of weapons by the US to China's Taiwan region severely violates the one-China principle and the regulations of the three Joint Communiqués between China and the US, especially those in the August 17 communiqué.
It severely interferes in China's internal affairs, harms China-US relations and peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits, and China firmly opposes this, Zhao said.
China urges the US to abide by the one-China principle and regulations of the three Joint Communiqués, cancel the arms sale plan and cut off military ties with Taiwan, Zhao said.