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Analyst says early delivery of US made F-16 jets would help tackle incursions from Beijing

ANI | Updated: Oct 18, 2021 01:09 IST

Taipei [Taiwan] October 18 (ANI): A border security analyst on Saturday said that early delivery of the US-made F16 jets would help Taiwan speed up the incorporation of the jets into its Air Force and strengthen its air defence capabilities amid the increase in incursions from China.
The remarks came from Institute for National Defence and Security Research analyst, Shu Hsiao-huang, who said that if the US agrees to hand over the 66 F-16Vs Taiwan purchased in 2019 earlier than scheduled, they could be stationed in Taitung and be used to respond to threats in southern Taiwan, where the possibility of an aerial conflict with China is greatest, Taiwan News reported citing the CNN.
Shu also said that as the F-5 fighters currently deployed at Taitung's Chihang Air Force Base are relatively old, the arrival of the F-16s can reduce the burden on certain Air Force wings.

Additionally, the new fighter jets could respond to Chinese threats in Taiwan's South-Western and South-Eastern airspace if stationed in Taitung.
Amid the growing threat from Beijing, several reports have also emerged stating that Taiwan officials have urged Washington to speed up the delivery of US-made F-16 jets to Taipei.
Meanwhile, around 150 Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) military aircraft have made incursions in Taiwan's air defence identification zone from October 1-5, Taipei Times reported citing the data from Taiwan's Ministry of National Defence.
The incursions happened as Beijing claims full sovereignty over Taiwan, a democracy of almost 24 million people located off the southeastern coast of mainland China, despite the fact that the two sides have been governed separately for more than seven decades.
Taipei, on the other hand, has countered the Chinese aggression by increasing strategic ties with democracies including the US, which has been repeatedly opposed by Beijing. (ANI)