A major in Taiwan's Nationalist Chinese Air Forces has defected to mainland China with an American-built F-5 fighter aircraft, official Peking television reported. The action appeared to be the first time a Taiwanese pilot has defected in several years. Both Nationalist and Communist Chinese offer heavy financial incentives to persuade pilots from the other side to defect with their aircraft.
Sources said it is the first F-5 aircraft brought to the mainland in this way. The F-5, known as the Freedom Fighter, is a lightweight interceptor which has been sold in large quantities to develop ing countries.