Taipei, Jan 12: Tensions between mainland China and Taiwan are at an all time high. Just in the month of december China invaded Taiwanese airspace over 50 times. The CCP leadership has been making relentless statements about ‘Uniting China’. All this has got everyone around the world worried about China invading Taiwan.
Amid the tensions with China, Taiwan’s F-16 has gone awry. Taiwan's air force said it had launched a rescue operation to locate one of its most advanced F-16s after the fighter jet vanished from radar screens on Tuesday.
The jet disappeared around half an hour after taking off for a routine training flight from a base in the southern city of Chiayi, the air force said in a statement.
Taiwan's national rescue center reported that people saw the F-16V "crashing into the sea," adding that two choppers and one coastguard vessel had been dispatched to find the jet.
President Tsai Ing-wen has ordered an all-out rescue effort and asked for clarity around the cause of the incident, her office said.
Taipei commissioned its first squadron of US-made F-16V fighters in November in an effort to upgrade its aging fleet as tensions with China continue to heighten. Beijing claims the self-ruled island as part of its territory and has vowed to take it one day, by force if necessary.
The F-16V is an upgraded and much more sophisticated version of the island's other F-16 fighters which date back to the 1990s.
The air force has suffered a string of fatal accidents in recent years as its jets are kept under growing pressure from China.
Taiwan also has French-made Mirage jets and its own indigenous warplanes.