Several F-16s flew simultaneously from Taiwan’s air base as part of a combat exercise aimed at convincing China that Taiwan was fully prepared for a retaliatory strike.
According to Reuters, before taking off in Chiayi, Taiwan, the stronghold of US F-16s in the country, the pilots prepared the F-16s for flight when an artificial alarm sounded.
The three-day aerial exercise aims to demonstrate Taiwan’s combat prowess in intercepting Chinese aircraft in the event of a collision.
Tensions between Taiwan and China have been running high for years, beginning with Taiwan’s response to the activities of Chinese aircraft near the border.
“The activity of Chinese aircraft has increased near the country’s border and our pilots are ready to deal with all kinds of aircraft,” Taiwan’s Major Yin Hsiang Sheng told reporters. The major also mentioned last year’s incident when he stopped a similar Chinese plane from entering the border.