While Taiwan recently commissioned the US-built F-16V fighter jets last week, China People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has deployed the “advanced J-10C fighter jets, ” according to China’s state-run Global Times
China’s national daily reported that domestically developed aircraft has replaced the J-7E fighter jets. The new jets were commissioned into China’s eastern theatre command Air Force unit.
The Chinese newspaper claimed J-10C can rival the F-16V recently brought by Taiwan. It claimed the commissioning of the new Chinese jets “will further widen the power gap across the Taiwan Straits”.
Tensions between China and Taiwan escalated last month as the Chinese Air Force repeatedly sent fighter jets into Taipei’s air defence zone as Taiwan activated its Air Force to thwart the Chinese intrusion.
Taiwan had earlier requested advanced jets and military equipment from the United States amid growing rift with China. On Thursday, Taiwan commissioned the F-16V which is the upgraded version of the F-16 fighter planes in operation since the 1990s.
Taiwan already has an array of F-16 fighter jets including Mirage aircraft. Reports claim Taiwan has ordered 66 new F-16Vs.
Chinese troops have been carrying out military drills close to Taiwan amid tensions between the two sides. Ties between the two countries hit a new low after China downgraded diplomatic ties with Lithuania after Taiwan opened a de facto embassy in the country.