China is laying the groundwork for war with Taiwan | World Defense

China is laying the groundwork for war with Taiwan

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China is laying the groundwork for war with Taiwan
By: Mike Yeo
03.May.2019

Airmen walk in formation prior to a combat drill with H-6K bombers. (Yang Ruikang/People's Republic of China)

MELBOURNE, Australia – China is improving and increasing its options for a possible future invasion of Taiwan, with military reforms and investments in multi-domain military capabilities offering a range of options to defeat the self-governing island, according to a Pentagon report.

These options range from an air and sea blockade of Taiwan to a full-scale invasion, although the latter option would require a significant increase in the number of amphibious ships, according to the latest annual China Military Power Report released Thursday by the Department of Defense.

Nevertheless, the report cautioned that the People’s Liberation Army or PLA’s efforts to convert the bulk of its maneuver units to combined arms brigades, “should eventually create more capable, modular brigades and battalions,” while the “expansion of army aviation and the creation of two new air assault brigades also provides more attack, air assault and close air support options for a Taiwan invasion.”

China’s PLA has also made efforts to improve its ability to insert forces by air, by restructuring its airborne corps and establishing air assault units, which would be charged with aerial insertion and seizing key terrain. This restructure saw it reorganizing its previous units into airborne infantry brigades, a special operations brigade, an aviation brigade, and a support brigade, with the corps conducting training exercises in 2018 that involved long-range raid and airborne operations based on actual war plans.

The service has also established a joint logistics support force in late 2016, with the primary goal of supporting a strategic campaign such as a Taiwan invasion. This would be accomplished through command and control of joint logistics, delivering of materiel, and managing various civil-military integration support mechanisms. It’s strategic support force would then be responsible for the use of electronic warfare and cyber operations during a Taiwan contingency, by “seizing and maintaining battlefield information control in contemporary informatized warfare.”

The report added that the PLA is likely still exploring how to reform its joint command processes to integrate information operations and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities more fully at the theater-level, but noted that the structural reforms have removed the biggest barriers to integrating these strategic capabilities.

Nonetheless, the report raises questions about China’s current ability to conduct a full-scale invasion. Despite advances in the quality and quantity of its surface combatants and submarines, the PLA Navy has in recent years only acquired a small number of landing platform docks “indicating a near term focus on smaller scale expeditionary missions rather than a large number of [Landing Ship Tanks] and medium landing craft that would be necessary for a large-scale direct beach assault.”

The preparedness of the recently expanded PLA Marine Corps was also in doubt, with exercises rarely going beyond battalion level events, and its newly raised brigades yet to receive “their full complement of required equipment and not fully mission capable.” As a consequence, the report noted that the scope of training for these units was “rudimentary and the new brigades remain unequipped to perform amphibious assault operations," concluding that an invasion of Taiwan, besides being fraught with significant political risk, “would likely strain China’s armed forces.”

 

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Taiwan official pledges boost in defense capabilities won’t be deterred by Chinese ‘coercion’
By: Martin Banks
02.May.2019

Members of Taiwan's special forces rappel from a UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter during a military drill in Taoyuan city, Nothern Taiwan. (Chiang Ying-ying/AP)

BRUSSELS — Taiwan will step up efforts to become more “self-reliant” in its defense capabilities in the face of “increasing threats” from China, according to a senior Taiwanese official.

Taiwan recently accused China of "reckless and provocative" action after two Chinese air force jets crossed a maritime border separating the island from the mainland on March 31.

Chinese bombers and warships have also recently conducted drills close to Taiwan, the latest military maneuvers near the self-ruled island that the Taiwanese official denounced as “coercion” and a threat to stability in the region.

The official is based at Taiwan’s representative office to the European Union and Belgium, and spoke to Defense News on condition of anonymity.
The official said the recent incidents highlight the need for Taiwan to become more “self-sufficient” by developing a more independent defense industry. The diplomat noted the country is already building supersonic training jets to boost air capabilities, and that the government allocated more than 21 percent of its defense budget this year for the development of indigenous weapons.

Under pressure from China, Taiwan has had difficulty since the 1980s in buying weapons and other defense equipment from anyone but the United States, and in upgrading its existing arsenal.
The official said the aim is to locally produce “advanced” defense and military equipment.

“This is necessary in order to be able to defend ourselves. This does not mean that we will stop relying on support of others in the international community, notably the U.S., for major defense equipment, but that we will more and more develop our own defense systems.”

This includes the Indigenous Defense Submarine program and new advanced training jets, he said. Proposals to build a fleet of eight diesel-electric submarines were introduced as early as 2001. In August 2016, Taiwan opened a submarine development center for production of the island’s first locally made subs.

Local shipbuilding company CSBC Corp. was contracted to produce eight submarines, the specifications of which are not yet finalized. Sources estimate a displacement between 1,200-2,400 tons, a top speed of 17 knots underwater and an operating range of 6,000 nautical miles. CSBC reportedly hopes to deliver the first submarine by 2024.

Additionally, Taiwan plans to produce 66 training jets at a cost of NT$68.6 billion (U.S. $2.2 billion), to replace the aging, locally made AT-3 trainers and American-made F-5 fighters that rookie fighter jet pilots in Taiwan’s Air Force have used for more than 30 years.

The design of the new supersonic trainer aircraft is based on F-CK-1, including the same Honeywell engine, but it will reportedly carry additional fuel. The Ministry of National Defense adopted the Aerospace Industrial Development Corp.'s XT-5 Blue Magpie design for the trainers.

Taiwan is heavily dependent on the U.S. for defense capabilities, a reliance recently reinforced when the U.S. State Department approved sale to Taiwan of a pilot training program as well as maintenance and logistics support for F-16 aircraft based on Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. The $500 million package covers program costs such as flight training, participation in approved training exercises, training munitions, supply and maintenance support, and spare and repair parts. The sale must be cleared by Congress before entering final negotiations, during which quantities, services and prices can change.

China’s recent efforts at modernizing its military is slowly but surely eroding Taiwanese local superiority, and its economic and diplomatic clout is making countries wary of selling arms to Taiwan for fear of angering China, essentially placing the self-governing island under an arms embargo.
Speaking recently at a video conference, Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, accused China of “breaking a tacit agreement that has served the interests of peace and stability over the past two decades.”

In an attempt to counter such fears, a Chinese diplomat in Brussels pointed to a speech at the start of the year by Chinese President Xi Jinping which, the official said, “contained nothing” that suggested China sees conflict with Taiwan as imminent. However, Xi’s comments about support for peaceful “reunification” with Taiwan included a warning that “we do not promise to renounce the use of force and reserve the option to use all necessary measures” to prevent Taiwan’s independence.

For its part, the United States’ national security adviser, John Bolton, tweeted April 1: “Chinese military provocations won’t win any hearts or minds in Taiwan, but they will strengthen the resolve of people everywhere who value democracy. The Taiwan Relations Act and our commitment are clear."
Replied Tsai: “We could not agree more.”

Fraser Cameron, the director of the Brussels-based EU/Asia Centre, noted that “while there were sound reasons for Taiwan to build up its indigenous defense capacity, it would have to be careful in maneuvering between its main protector (U.S.) and claimant (China).”

The U.S. is bound by the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act to “make available to Taiwan such defense articles and defense services in such quantity as may be necessary to enable Taiwan to maintain a sufficient self-defense capability.”

“Any attempt to influence Taiwan through threats or coercion, we believe, destabilizes the region and threatens stability in the Taiwan Strait," the senior Taiwanese official said. "It hurts stability. It damages the cross-strait relationship. It damages any attempt by China to win the hearts and minds of Taiwan people. We urge Beijing to choose the path of peace, respect and civility by resuming dialogue with Taiwan’s democratically elected administration.”

Mike Yeo contributed to this report.

 

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Taiwan looks to boost artillery forces to counter China
By: Mike Yeo

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Soldiers from Taiwan's special forces fight with soldiers simulated invasion from rival China during the annual Han Kuang exercises at an air base in Taichung County, Taiwan, Thursday, June 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)


MELBOURNE, Australia - Taiwan is seeking to modernize and lengthen the reach of its artillery with the decision to purchase self-propelled howitzers, even as it weighs acquiring or developing its own long-range artillery rockets.

During a hearing of the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee, Taiwanese Defense Minister Yen Teh-fa confirmed to legislators that Taiwan will seek to acquire the BAE Systems M109A6 Paladin self-propeller howitzer from the United States.

Yen did not reveal how many howitzers would be sought, although local media reports in July stated that Taiwan was looking at acquiring 100 howitzers.

The Taiwanese army’s artillery units are already operating the older M109A2 and M109A5 variants, as well as the M110A2 self-propelled howitzer and the towed M114 howitzers.

The M109A6 features improved armor and survivability over older variants of the M109, which allows howitzer batteries to fire from dispersed locations as well as reduce the time required to set up and fire its 155 mm (6 inch) howitzer.

Taiwan is also reportedly looking to increase the range of its artillery rockets up to 190 miles, and was said to be weighing between acquiring the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System or developing a longer-ranged rocket for its Thunderbolt-2000 truck-mounted multiple rocket launcher.

The Trump administration has ramped up arms sales to Taiwan in recent months, with the State Department clearing the sale of tanks, fighter jets and surface to air missiles. Under the Taiwan Relations Act passed by Congress in 1979, the U.S. is committed to providing self-defense weapons to the self-governing island off China’s coast.

The National Changshan Institute of Science and Technology, which developed and manufactured the Thunderbolt 2000, has successfully developed a rocket with a range of 63 miles and is confident it can develop an even longer range rocket.

This requirement is in response to China fielding artillery rockets capable of attaining such ranges, which would put Taiwan’s west coast within range from mainland China. China sees Taiwan as a renegade province and has not ruled out the use of force to take back the island.
 

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So Taiwan wants to stand up to China? Is this some kind of a jock? What if China showers Taiwan with ballistic missiles?
 

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So Taiwan wants to stand up to China? Is this some kind of a jock? What if China showers Taiwan with ballistic missiles?
Thats when they will finally realize, its game over.

Instead of wasting billions of US$, they should become a semi autonomous region like Hong Kong & Macau.
 

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Thats when they will finally realize, its game over.

Instead of wasting billions of US$, they should become a semi autonomous region like Hong Kong & Macau.
Taiwan will easily be swallowed by China no matter how big Taiwan's military arsenal is.

Is Meth legal in Taiwan? LMAO.
 

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"So Taiwan wants to stand up to China? Is this some kind of a jock? What if China showers Taiwan with ballistic missiles?"

I am sure Taiwan is aware of that possibility/probability, and must have been digging for decades.

Efficient runway repair can be done in a few hours with stored rubble filler and quick drying concrete. Surely all her major and vital munitions, communications, and leadership is and will be 100s of feet underground.

As for her excellent truck mounted missiles, our peace loving Chinese brothers CANNOT target a truck on maybe 100s of miles of highway and travelling at 50 MPH.
 

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"Taiwan will easily be swallowed by China no matter how big Taiwan's military arsenal is."

Not sure how China will swallow such a meal, but Taiwan is a PORCUPINE! Until such time as China can gurantee to Emporer for Life Xi that the PLAN etc can counter and remove the threat of Taiwan's missiles she cannot be sure they will not end up with100,000+ drowned ONLY SONS! Mum and dad will welcome Xi's letter in the mail.

The USS Bonne Hom Richard has shown the world including China that one hit can reduce a warship to black shell in a day. Add a ship load of fuel amd munitions, and BOOM!

Hopefully Taiwan has enough brains to target the troopships and supply ships first, and leave the escorts with nothing to escort. Not sure if you can program a missile to target a particular ship, but maybe.
 

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"Instead of wasting billions of US$, they should become a semi autonomous region like Hong Kong & Macau."

Taiwan has seen just how true China's assurances about HK really are. Taiwan cannot hope for better treatment than that, and very probably much worse!
 

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China has been "Laying the Groundwork" for an invasion for a decade. She is a Paper Dragon that is all talk and sabre rattling, and very little action.

A pretty new DDG cost a couple of US billion and a new Brave Wind cost a million! One DDG takes a couple of years to build, and a BW takes a week!
 
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Taiwan says military under pressure from China as missions mount
October 6, 2020

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FILE PHOTO: A Republic of China Air Force (ROCAF) F-16V fighter jet lands on a highway used as an emergency runway during the Han Kuang military exercise simulating the China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) invading the island, in Changhua, Taiwan May 28, 2019.
REUTERS/Tyrone Siu


TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan’s military has launched aircraft to intercept Chinese planes more than twice as much as all of last year, the island’s defence ministry said, describing Taiwan as facing severe security challenges from its huge neighbour.

China, which claims democratic Taiwan as its own territory, has stepped up its military activities near the island, responding to what Beijing calls “collusion” between Taipei and Washington.

In the past few weeks, Chinese fighter jets have crossed the mid-line of the Taiwan Strait, which normally serves as an official buffer between the island and the mainland, and have flown into Taiwan’s southwestern air defence identification zone.

In a report to parliament, a copy of which was reviewed by Reuters, Taiwan’s Defence Ministry said so far this year the air force had scrambled 4,132 times, up 129% compared to all of last year, according to Reuters calculations.

China “is trying to use unilateral military actions to change the security status quo in the Taiwan Strait, and at the same time is testing our response, increasing pressure on our air defences and shrinking our space for activity,” it said.

The rapid development of China’s military has been accompanied by “targeted” military actions against Taiwan, the ministry added.

China has been particularly angered by growing U.S. support for Taiwan, including senior U.S. officials visiting the island, adding to broader Sino-U.S. tensions.

While Taiwan is unable to compete numerically with China’s armed forces, President Tsai Ing-wen has been overseeing a military modernisation programme, aiming to make the island’s armed forces more nimble and Taiwan more difficult to attack.

Addressing a Taiwan-U.S. defence conference late Monday, Vice Defence Minister Chang Guan-chung said China has been ramping up what he called “realistic training against Taiwan”.

“We are developing systems that are small, numerous, smart, stealthy, fast, mobile, low-cost, survivable, effective, easy to develop, maintain and preserve, and difficult to detect and counter,” he said.

Chang called for enhanced cooperation with the United States that goes beyond weapons sales, saying that would further invigorate Taiwan’s defence reform and military modernisation.

“We will also emphasise joint effort in training, operational concepts, capability assessment, intelligence sharing, and armament cooperation. These are equally important as the acquisition of hardware,” he said.

Reporting by Yimou Lee and Ben Blanchard. Editing by Gerry Doyle
 

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China criticizes passage of USS John S. McCain through Taiwan Strait
April 7, 2021
By Ed Adamczyk
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The destroyer USS John S. McCain transited the Taiwan Strait on Wednesday, the U.S. Navy announced. Photo by MCS1 Jeremy Graham/U.S. Navy

April 7 (UPI) -- The transit of the guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain through the Taiwan Strait on Wednesday drew swift condemnation from the Chinese military.

The ship sailed through the strait separating Tainan and China, in a "routine exercise" demonstrating the "U.S. commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific [Ocean]," a Navy statement on Wednesday said.

In a statement, Col. Zhang Chunhui, spokesman for China's People's Liberation Army Eastern Theater Command, said the action sent an erroneous signal to forces supporting Taiwan's independence from China.

He added that the appearance of the ship undermined the regional status and jeopardized stability in the 110-mile strait, regarded as an international waterway.

"China is firmly opposed to it," he said, noting that the PLA remains on high alert and ready to respond to threats.

While the independence of the island nation has been globally recognized since 1949, China regards Taiwan as a breakaway province to eventually be reunited with the mainland country.

The United States has affirmed its interest in protecting Taiwan's independence, and Taiwan has been a regular purchaser of U.S. military equipment since 2015.

The U.S. Navy routinely sends ships through the strait in a show of force, as well as solidarity with Taiwan, and China was critical of the March 30 visit to the island by U.S. Ambassador to Palau John Hennessey-Niland.

The visit suggests an era of greater coordination in the areas of security and defense between Taiwan and the United States, Lin Ting-hui of the Taiwan Society of International Law told the Taipei Times.

This week, China's navy conducted exercises, involving one of its two aircraft carriers, in waters near the strait.

A U.S. Navy carrier strike group, led by the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, is also in the vicinity, in the South China Sea.

Earlier in March, Congressional testimony by the United States' two most senior admirals in Asia cited the growing threat of China in the Indo-Pacific region.

Adm. Philip Davidson of the Indo-Pacific Command and Adm. John Aquilino of the Pacific Fleet both mentioned its effect on Taiwan, and Aquilino contended that a Chinese "military takeover" of Taiwan was one of his greatest concerns.
 

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China flexes military muscle around Taiwan with flights, sea maneuvers

April 7, 2021

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China's Type 001A aircraft carrier was seen traveling through the Miyako Strait near Okinawa. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

April 7 (UPI) -- China's military conducted air and sea exercises near Taiwan amid Beijing's continued opposition to closer ties between Washington and Taipei.

Beijing's forces deployed the aircraft carrier Liaoning and escort vessels in waters near the island nation for a "routine training exercise," CNN reported Wednesday.

The training was "organized according to the annual work plan to test the troops' training effectiveness and beef up their capability to safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests," the Chinese statement said.

The exercise reportedly took place on Monday. Earlier in the week, Japan's defense ministry disclosed a photo of the Liaoning, a Type 001A carrier traveling through the Miyako Strait near Okinawa. The ship was commissioned into the People's Liberation Army Navy in 2012.

Taiwan's defense ministry said China also demonstrated air power, with flights of at least 10 PLA warplanes, including J-16 and J-10 fighter jets. A Y-8 anti-submarine warfare aircraft and a KJ-500 early warning aircraft trespassed into Taiwan's air defense identification zone, according to Taipei.

China does not recognize Taiwanese sovereignty. Under Chinese President Xi Jinping, Beijing has declined to rule out the use of force to take back Taiwan, according to CNN.

Thomas Shugart, a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, said the exercises come with risks.

The U.S. Navy's nuclear-powered attack submarines, or SSNs, are active in the open Pacific, he said.

"A Chinese carrier operating east of Taiwan is not particularly valuable being used like that, as it could be quite vulnerable operating that far out -- in SSN-infested deep water and beyond China's integrated air defense/[surface-to-air missile] umbrella," Shugart said, according to CNN.

Writing for Bloomberg, Tyler Cowen, an economist at George Mason University, said China could be considering taking "significant action," because it is eyeing a window of opportunity.

"The evolution of military technologies would ... seem to argue for Chinese action sooner rather than later," Cowen said.

"Even a very powerful China might find Taiwan difficult to conquer in 20 years. At the current moment, Taiwan's defense capabilities seem especially run down."

Related:
China criticizes passage of USS John S. McCain through Taiwan Strait
April 7, 2021
 

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Type 055 destroyer joins PLA Navy carrier group for first time in deployment east of Taiwan

07 April 2021
by Andrew Tate

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A screengrab from CCTV 7 video footage released on 6 October 2020 showing PLAN Type 055-class destroyer Nanchang . The vessel recently joined the escort group for aircraft carrier Liaoning for the first time. (CCTV 7)

The People’s Liberation Army Navy’s (PLAN’s) lead Type 055 (Renhai)-class destroyer, Nanchang (pennant number 101), has for the first time joined the escort group for the aircraft carrier Liaoning and, according to Japan’s Ministry of Defense, deployed into the Pacific Ocean east of Taiwan on 3 April.

Japan Self-Defense Force aircraft and a destroyer identified the other Chinese supporting ships as the Type 052D (Luyang III)-class destroyers Chengdu (120) and Taiyuan (131), the Type 054A (Jiangkai II)-class frigate Huanggang (577), and the Type 901 (Fuyu)-class fast replenishment ship Hulunhu (965), and monitored the carrier group as it passed through the Miyako Strait south of Okinawa.

In a statement released on 5 April, People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) spokesperson Senior Captain Gao Xiucheng said the group was conducting a “routine” training exercise in waters around Taiwan. However, a report published the following day by the Chinese state-owned Global Times newspaper was headlined, “PLA carrier, warplanes surround Taiwan in drills, in show of capability to cut off foreign intervention”.

The report also referred to the presence of Chinese military aircraft in the airspace near Taiwan. The Ministry of National Defense in Taipei stated that 10 PLA aircraft had entered the southern part of Taiwan’s air defence identification zone (ADIZ) on 5 April. These were identified as four J-16 and four J-10 fighter aircraft, a Y-8 maritime patrol aircraft, and a KJ-500 airborne early warning and control aircraft.
 

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China says U.S. to blame for tensions over Taiwan

By Reuters Staff
April 8, 2021 Updated 3 hours ago

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FILE PHOTO: Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian attends a news conference in Beijing, China September 10, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins


BEIJING (Reuters) - Beijing blamed the United States on Thursday for tensions over Taiwan after a U.S. warship sailed close to the Chinese-claimed island, asking rhetorically whether China would sail in the Gulf of Mexico as a “show of strength”.

The democratically-run island has complained of repeated military activities by Beijing in recent months, with China’s air force making almost daily forays into Taiwan’s air defence identification zone.

On Monday, China said an aircraft carrier group was exercising close to the island, and on Wednesday a U.S. warship sailed through the sensitive Taiwan Strait that separates the island from its giant neighbour.

Speaking at a daily news briefing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said U.S. ships engaging in “provocations” “send a seriously wrong signal to the forces of Taiwan independence, threatening peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait”.

“Would a Chinese warship go to the Gulf of Mexico to make a show of strength?” he added.

In 2015, five Chinese Navy ships sailed in international waters in the Bering Sea off Alaska, in an apparent first for China’s military that came as then-U.S. President Barack Obama toured the U.S. state.

The U.S. Navy has been regularly conducting what it calls “routine” transits of the Taiwan Strait.

Washington has expressed its concern about a pattern of Chinese intimidation efforts in the region, including towards Taiwan, reiterating that the U.S. commitment to Taiwan is “rock solid”.

China believes the United States is colluding with Taiwan to challenge Beijing and giving support to those who want the island to declare formal independence.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen says they are already an independent country called the Republic of China, the island’s official name.

Taiwan is China’s most sensitive territorial issue and a major bone of contention between Beijing and Washington.

The widely-read Chinese state-backed tabloid the Global Times, published by the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily, said on Thursday China’s carrier group had been drilling near Taiwan “amid U.S. provocations”.

It published what it said was a conversation between a Chinese fighter pilot and a Taiwanese one, who was warning China’s aircraft to turn around.

“This is China’s airspace,” the Chinese pilot says, in a recording the paper said was made on Tuesday while he was on duty cruising southwest of Taiwan.

Reporting by Gabriel Crossley; Writing an additional reporting by Ben Blanchard in Taipei; Editing by Kim Coghill
 
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