Taiwan scrambles jets to meet Chinese jets in island dispute

BEIJING — Taiwan scrambled jets and scrambled two K-2A assault helicopters Sunday to engage Chinese J-11B fighters, as Defense Minister Feng Shih-kuan met a cross-strait senior military delegation in Beijing. Last year, China’s military…

Taiwan scrambles jets to meet Chinese jets in island dispute

BEIJING — Taiwan scrambled jets and scrambled two K-2A assault helicopters Sunday to engage Chinese J-11B fighters, as Defense Minister Feng Shih-kuan met a cross-strait senior military delegation in Beijing.

Last year, China’s military acquired five J-11B fighters from Ukraine. On Sunday, the planes were seen making a return flight to their base in Chengdu, according to the Taiwan News Agency. Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said earlier that it didn’t see a direct threat from the Chinese aircraft.

In an agreement signed March 9, China’s Liaoning aircraft carrier and warplanes will make three training patrols to Taiwan in spring and summer. Their presence prompted Taiwan officials to call for a cooling of tensions.

“China’s behavior is not conducive to cross-strait relations and we cannot accept it,” Zhang Zhijun, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s chief of staff, said at the April 22 encounter on Taiwan.

In an apparent effort to dampen any word of threats, the Chinese military released photographs showing their J-11B jet planes taking off from J-11B carrier-style aircraft carriers. The aircraft carrier is in northeastern China and the cruiser-size aircraft carriers in western China.

Speaking to a standing-room-only audience at the National Defense University in Beijing Sunday, Xi Jinping, China’s Communist Party chief and president, said the relationship between China and Taiwan was developing smoothly with no incidents so far. He said China’s maritime surveillance operation in the East and South China Seas had “normal function.”

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