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Amid tensions with China, Taiwan showcases advanced US-made fighter jets

Amid tensions with China, Taiwan introduced its most advanced fighter jet, the American-made F-16V.

China conducted a large-scale military exercise this month after US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the island nation earlier this month. Tensions in the region escalated when US lawmakers paid a visit later, angering the communist nation.

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In its latest military maneuver, Taiwan loaded the F-16V fighter jet with anti-ship missiles at an airbase in eastern Hualien County as six forward planes took off for nighttime reconnaissance.

The F-16Vs were first deployed in November last year to Taiwan as China continued to send fighter jets into Taiwan’s air defense zone. The new jets are an upgraded version of the F-16 fighters.

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The Taiwanese military said it must remain “vigilant” against the threat of “recent military exercises by Chinese communist forces”. Taiwan had previously accused China of using Nancy Pelosi’s visit as an excuse to launch high-level military exercises both on land and at sea.

China views Taiwan as a breakaway province which it has threatened to take by force if necessary. In a white paper released earlier this month, China reaffirmed that it “will not renounce the use of force” against Taiwan.

A defiant Taiwan said it would continue to resist Chinese attempts, with Prime Minister Su Tseng-chang saying the country “shouldn’t be too afraid to do anything”. A two-day visit by senior US congressional officials has further heightened tensions between China and Taiwan as Taiwanese President Tsai pushes for “prosperity and stability in the Indo-Pacific region”.

Tsai cited Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to say “the threat that authoritarian states pose to the world order”, referring to China.

(With agency contributions)

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Post expires at 10:58am on Saturday August 27th, 2022