Taiwan’s Tsai lauds heroic pilots who drove away Chinese fighter jets

PENGHU (TAIWAN) – President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan on Tuesday heaped praise on the brave air force pilots who intercepted Chinese fighter jets that approached the island.

Last week, Taiwanese fighter jets scrambled multiple times to intercept Chinese aircraft.

During a visit to an air force base on Penghu in the sensitive Taiwan Strait, the president told pilots and engineers she was aware of their “heroic performance” to drive away Chinese jets.

“I have a lot of confidence in you. As soldiers of the Republic of China, how could we let enemies strut around in our own airspace?” she said.

“I’m aware that facing the provocative behaviour of the communist planes that have encircled the island and damaged regional peace in recent days, your duty at the front line of the airspace in Penghu must be even heavier.”

The base houses F-CK-1 Ching-kuo Indigenous Defence Fighters (IDF) which are at the vanguard of Taiwan’s response to Chinese intrusions.

A senior officer Wang Chia-chu said there are only five minutes to scramble aircraft once enemy jets are spotted.

“We will defend our airspace in real time as long as there’s a threat,” Wang said.

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