TAIPEI Aug 26 Taiwan said on Tuesday it had
scrambled jets to intercept two Chinese military aircrafts,
which breached its airspace four times.
The incident occurred on Monday and the Chinese planes,
identified as Yun-8 transport aircraft, left without incident
after Taiwanese fighter jets warned them off, Xiong Ho-ji, major
general of Taiwan's Air Force Combatant Command, told reporters.
China's defence ministry did not immediately respond to a
request for comment.
According to Xiong, the Chinese aircraft were headed in the
direction of the South China Sea and the Philippines.
China and Taiwan have been ruled separately since defeated
Nationalist forces fled to the island at the end of a civil war
in 1949, and China has never renounced the use of force to bring
Taiwan under Beijing's control.
While relations have improved under the China-friendly
President Ma Ying-jeou, who has signed a series of landmark
economic deals since taking office in 2008, deep political and
military suspicions remain.
The breach of Taiwanese air space comes a week after the
Pentagon lodged a diplomatic complaint with China about the
conduct of a Chinese fighter jet, which it said came within
metres of a U.S. Navy patrol plane.
China has said the criticism is groundless and its pilot
maintained a safe distance from the U.S plane.
Ties between China and many of its neighbors have been
strained by a string of territorial disputes.
(Reporting By Damon Lin and J.R. Wu in TAIPEI and Megha
Rajagopalan in BEIJING; Editing by Miral Fahmy)