As China conducted a third day of military exercises to the south of the island Beijing regards as its sovereign territory, Chinese fighter planes kept an eye on a US Navy patrol plane flying through the critical Taiwan Strait.
China has been enraged by US military deployments in the narrow strait, most often of warships but also of planes, claiming that China “has sovereignty, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction” over the waterway. Taiwan and the United States both argue that it is an international waterway. The P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol and reconnaissance jet, which is also employed for anti-submarine missions, sailed over the strait in international airspace, according to the US Navy’s 7th Fleet.
Following two days of Chinese military exercises to the south of the island Beijing regards as sovereign Chinese territory, a US navy patrol plane sailed through the crucial Taiwan Strait today.
China has been enraged by US military deployments in the narrow strait, most notably of warships but also of planes, claiming that China “has sovereignty, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction” over the waterway.
Taiwan and the United States disagree, claiming it is an international waterway.
“By operating within the Taiwan Strait in accordance with international law, the United States upholds the navigational rights and freedoms of all nations,” the US stated in a statement.
“The flight through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the United States’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.” The United States military can fly, sail, and operate anywhere international law allows.”
Taiwan’s defense ministry said the plane stayed close to the strait’s middle line and headed south, with Taiwanese personnel keeping watch.
The median line is ordinarily an unofficial boundary between Taiwan and China, but since last August, when China performed large-scale war games near the island, Chinese military aircraft have repeatedly crossed the line, albeit briefly.
The operation came after two days of new Chinese drills near Taiwan, with fighters, bombers, and warships primarily flying to the island’s south and out into the Pacific through the Bashi Channel, which separates Taiwan from the Philippines.
They took place less than two weeks before Taiwan’s own yearly drills and as Nato officials stated that China’s “ambitions and coercive policies” pose a threat to the alliance’s interests, security, and values.
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