Taiwan will deal with Chinese language army flights into its airspace as ‘first strike,’ protection minister says

Taiwan will treat Chinese military flights into its airspace as 'first strike,' defense minister says

Hong Kong

Chinese fighter jets or drones that intrude into Taiwan’s territorial airspace will be regarded as a “first strike,” Taiwan’s Defense Minister warned Wednesday, as the island seeks to step-up its defenses in response to Beijing’s military pressure.

Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng made the remarks while addressing lawmakers on the threats posed by China’s recent spate of escalatory measures, which has seen Chinese warplanes and drones fly near to the self-governing island.

Chiu did not specify how Taipei would respond if People’s Liberation Army aircraft breached the territorial limit, defined as 12 nautical miles (22.2 kilometers) from the island’s shores.

“In the past, we said we won’t be the first to strike, which meant we will not fire the first shot without (China) firing artillery shells or missiles first,” Chiu Kuo-cheng said.