Chinese warplanes in first-ever night flights near Taiwan

A J-15 fighter jet of the PLA Navy prepares to land on China's aircraft carrier Liaoning during a naval exercise in the western Pacific. Photo: AFP. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.


TAIPEI, Mar 17, 2020, Taiwan News. Chinese fighter jets and early warning aircraft were for the first time ever seen flying a mission at night close to Taiwan’s airspace Monday (March 16), according to the Ministry of National Defense, Taiwan News reported.

The number of the planes was not clear, but they included KJ-500 early warning planes and J-11 jets, CNA reported. The aircraft were first spotted off Taiwan’s southwest coast at around 7 p.m. Monday, flying close to the island’s air defense identification zone.

The Air Force scrambled F-16 and Indigenous Defense Fighters who issued radio warnings to the Chinese jets, causing them to leave the area, the ministry said.

The military noted that, according to its records, while Chinese warplanes often approach Taiwan from any side, this was the first time such an incident occurred outside daylight hours.

On Feb. 28, during a Taiwanese public holiday, a Chinese Xi’an H-6 strategic bomber was seen close to the island’s southwest coast.

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