Taipei held a rare demonstration of its F-16V fighter planes and vowed to defend the self-governing island
Taiwanese ground crewmen are shown inspecting an F-16V earlier this month at Hualien Air Force base. © Annabelle Chih
Taiwan’s military has responded to a slew of nearby Chinese navy and air force drills by displaying its latest fighter jets to reporters and promising to respond to any attacks.
Reporters were taken to the Hualien air base on Taiwan’s eastern coast on Wednesday and were shown a rare nighttime demonstration of the country’s most advanced jets, according to reports by Reuters and other media outlets. The F-16Vs took off on reconnaissance and training flights, and ground crews demonstrated how they quickly load weapons, including US-made Harpoon anti-ship missiles, onto the warplanes.
The display of fighting prowess came amid rising tensions with China, which cut off military and climate ties with Washington after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a controversial visit to Taiwan earlier this month. Beijing has also ramped up military drills in the Taiwan Strait and has said it will reunify with Taiwan, which it considers a breakaway province, by force if necessary.