30 April 2019
A Taiwanese fighter jet pilot mistakenly fired a self-defence weapon during a recent encounter with a PLA warplane, according to a local newspaper.
It was not known when or where the incident took place, but an unidentified source familiar with the matter told China Times on Monday that the situation did not escalate further.
“The firing of an infrared decoy projectile is a defensive act, so it did not lead to an exchange of fire,” the source was quoted as saying.
Decoy projectiles are usually used during conflict to avoid being hit by an incoming missile.
… Collin Koh, a military expert from the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University, said increasing military pressure from Beijing could lead to more weapons being mistakenly fired.
“Although the true purpose [of the Taiwanese pilot firing an infrared decoy projectile] is hard to confirm, one thing is clear – under tense circumstances there is a risk of accidental or inadvertent use of force,” Koh said.
“If the PLA continues its so-called island patrols around Taiwan we can expect the Taiwanese military to keep up their responses – and over time the accumulated tensions may spiral into a mishap.”
IDSS / Online
Last updated on 02/05/2019