US aircraft transits Taiwan Strait; China scrambles fighter jets

SpaceWar.com reports: “A United States reconnaissance plane flew through the Taiwan Strait on Thursday, the US Navy said, as China continued joint air and naval exercises around the island.

The P-8A Poseidon aircraft transited the strait in international airspace to demonstrate ‘the United States’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific’, the US Seventh Fleet said.

Beijing claims self-ruled Taiwan as its territory, reacting angrily in the past to voyages by foreign warships or military aircraft through the narrow waterway separating the island and mainland China.

Taiwan’s defence ministry said 26 Chinese warplanes were detected around the island on Thursday, with 13 crossing the island’s southwestern air defence identification zone ‘to carry out joint sea and naval trainings with communist Chinese ships’.

The ministry said the island’s forces had also closely monitored the US aircraft’s transit through the strait.

‘The United States military flies, sails and operates anywhere international law allows,’ the US Navy said in its statement…”

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