Rescuers are now searching for the one F16 jet that went missing during a training exercise.
This disappearance comes less than three weeks after a pilot died during training. This had prompted the authorities to do a similar grounding of all jets.
The pilot of the single-seat F-16 jet was Colonel Chiang Cheng-chih. As recently as on Friday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said Taiwan was an inalienable part of China, following U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's comment that "Taiwan has not been a part of China". Beijing claims the democratic island as its own and has never renounced the use of force to bring it under Chinese control.
Tsai told reporters Wednesday morning that all of the island's F-16s would be grounded pending an investigation into the crash.
Removing the F-16-the ROCAF's most numerous fighter-from the island's roster of available air defense assets will place increased strain on the units operating the AIDC F-CK-1 Ching Kuo, Dassault Mirage 2000 and F-5E.
There have been seven crashes involving F16s since Taiwan took delivery of the fighters purchased from the United States in 1997.
According to sources, Beijing's fly-bys are created to test the island's defence responses but also to wear out its fighters, which come closer to expiry with each sortie.
Hsieh Jih-Sheng, commander of the 5th Tactical Fighter Wing of Taiwan's Air Force, said on Tuesday that when the incident occurred, cloud cover was thin at 2,000 feet but thicker from 4,000-7,000 feet. In January, Taiwan's top military official was among eight people killed after a helicopter carrying them to visit soldiers crashed in a mountainous area near the capital Taipei.