Military exercises unrelated to Chinese missions: Defense Minister

Defense Minister Feng Shih-kuan says that ongoing military exercises are unrelated to recent Chinese military flights near Taiwan.

China military aircraft recently completed two missions near Taiwan without entering Taiwan's air defense identification zone. The missions have been seen as strategic training for Chinese military pilots designed to familiarize them with the approaches to Taiwan.

On Wednesday, Defense Minister Feng Shih-kuan said that Taiwanese missions taking place at the same time have been defensive training missions. Feng said these are routine exercises and are not meant to counter China's recent missions near Taiwan.

"Actually, we do this once a season. So the timing is coincidental and was not related," said Feng.

Feng also describe the purpose of the exercises:

"On the one hand, our fighter jet pilots need to be trained, and on the other hand, we want to let the public know that our military isn't idle. We are always training," Feng said.

The recent exercises tested mid-air combat capabilities and naval defense against aircraft. Feng said the exercises were held to ensure the security of Taiwan's airspace.

Source: Radio Taiwan International