An F-16V fighter jet takes off at the Hualien Air Force base, Taiwan, August 17, 2022. Photo/24newshd.tv
The exhibition follows China’s unprecedented military exercises around the island.
Beijing held days of air and sea exercises in the Taiwan Strait this month following a visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and a US Congressional delegation to the self-governing island.
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Taipei has been conducting its own drills to simulate defense against a Chinese invasion. On Wednesday, air force personnel deployed F-16V fighters carrying US-made anti-ship missiles in a “combat readiness” exercise at an air base in the eastern region of Hualien.
Six F-16V jets then took off for reconnaissance and night training missions, including two aircraft armed with missiles, according to the Taiwan Air Force.
“In the face of threats from the recent military exercises of the Chinese communist forces, we remain vigilant while establishing the concept of ‘the battlefield is everywhere and practice at any time’… to ensure national security,” the Taiwan Air Force said in a statement.
Taiwan lives under constant threat of invasion by China, which claims the democratically-ruled island as part of its territory to be seized one day, by force if necessary.
Taipei has accused Beijing of using Pelosi, the top US elected official to visit in decades, as an excuse to start drills that would allow it to train for the invasion.
Taiwan has increased its aging fighter jet fleet in recent years, as fears of military action by Beijing have grown.