US Secretary of Defense Says China Is 'Rehearsing' 共機擾台頻率增 美防長:疑排練各種行動

China's military aircraft continue to encircle Taiwan. US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said that it appears China is using all types of operations as rehearsals. National Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng said that the military will continue to monitor them.

“This is a Republic of China Air Force broadcast directed at the Chinese military aircraft flying at an altitude of 2,000 meters in Taiwan's southwest airspace. You have already entered our airspace and are affecting our flight safety. Turn around and leave immediately.”

The military didn't release any information on Chinese military aircraft in Taiwan's airspace on Dec. 5, but the "Southwest Airspace of Taiwan" Facebook page posted audio of the Air Force dispelling Chinese aircraft in Taiwan's southwest ADIZ at around noon. US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said on Dec. 4 during the Reagan National Defense Forum that it looks like China is exploring its capabilities and it looks a lot like rehearsals.

Lloyd Austin, US Secretary of Defense: “I don't want to speculate but certainly you know, it looks like a lot like them exploring their true capabilities and sure, it looks a lot like rehearsals.”

Chiu Kuo-cheng, National Defense Minister: “Actually, for Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu, where we train is where we will fight. Along those lines, what we prepare are all things that may happen. After all, why would they fly here and not over there? They have their purposes, and we are carefully monitoring them.”

National Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng said there is a reason why Chinese military aircraft continue to buzz around Taiwan's airspace, and the military will continue to monitor them. Former Army Commander in Chief Hu Chen-pu said during a radio interview with former President Chen Shui-bian that if China attacks Taiwan's Taiping Island, Taiwan can attack China's Yongxing Island. Chiu declined to comment on this, but said the military has planned various responses.

Chiu Kuo-cheng, National Defense Minister: “We have already drawn up various possible actions plans for combat. They take into account what the enemy will do, and our response. We already have these. I won't comment on this.”

The Armed Forces Reserve Command recently issued an advance notice for mobilization in 2022. It contained the words "targets of the 2022 wartime mobilization," and the word "wartime" caught the public's attention. Chiu said refresher training occurs every year. However, it happens that right now cross-strait issues are in the news and the Ministry of National Defense is not trying to stir up tension.