By Roger Tung
TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan accused China of exaggeration on Tuesday after the Chinese military published footage of the strategic Penghu Islands, home to a key Taiwanese air base, saying it was not true that Chinese forces had come close to the islands. .
China, which claims Taiwan as its territory, held military exercises around the island this month following a visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, followed by five US lawmakers on Sunday and Monday.
The Chinese military unit responsible for the area adjacent to Taiwan, the People’s Liberation Army’s Eastern Theater Command, on Monday released a video of the Penghu Islands, apparently taken by a Chinese air force aircraft.
Taiwan Air Force Deputy Chief of Operations Tung Pei-lun told reporters in Taipei that it was a Chinese information war, although he said he had no comment on who recorded the video.
“China used the exaggerated tricks of cognitive warfare to show how far it was from Penghu – which is not true,” Tung said.
The Taiwan Ministry of Defense on Monday, in an update on Chinese air force activity near Taiwan, showed on a map that the Chinese aircraft closest to Penghu that day were four J-16 fighter jets.
The fighters crossed the midline of the Taiwan Strait, normally an unofficial barrier between the two sides, but stayed closer to the Chinese coast than Penghu, the map showed.
Tung said Taiwan had a real-time “understanding” of what was happening in the skies, and that Chinese aircraft were operating north and southwest of Taiwan and across the midline.
Penghu, a summer tourist destination for its beaches, is close to Taiwan’s southwest coast, unlike Taiwan-controlled Kinmen and Matsu Islands, which are just off the Chinese coast.
(Reporting by Roger Tung)
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