In a befitting reply to China’s war games, Taiwan conducted a war exercise showing off its latest F-16 fighters in the night sky.
The display was a show of force in front of the media, showing the Taiwanese military’s capability to defend the democratically governed island.
China has been carrying out military exercises around the island after a visit earlier this month by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, which was followed by a visit of five US lawmakers on Sunday and Monday.
Pelosi’s visit infuriated China which retaliated by launching ballistic missiles over the island nation for the first time. China also sent warships and fighter jets close to Taiwan, though the scale of the exercises has now been reduced.
On a government-sponsored visit to the key Hualien air base on Taiwan’s mountainous east coast, reporters witnessed how the ground crew rapidly upload weapons onto F-16s, including Boeing Co’s Harpoon anti-ship missiles.
Speaking to Indian media publication India Today, Vice-Admiral Shekhar Sinha (Retd), who has decades of experience as a combat naval aviator, said, “Taiwan may not have a large number of aircraft, but they have the latest version of F-16 and they are going to acquire more as the Biden government in the US has allowed more sale.”
China considers Taiwan an integral part and has vowed to take over the democratically-governed island nation by force if necessary.