Chinese jets ‘follow’ US reconnaissance aircraft over Taiwan Strait
China on Friday said its jets followed a US reconnaissance aircraft over Taiwan Strait, News.Az reports citing Anadolu Agency.
Colonel Shi Yi, a spokesman for the Eastern Theater Command of People’s Liberation Army (PLA), said: “A US P-8A anti-submarine patrol aircraft flew over the Taiwan Strait.”
“The PLA fighter planes followed and monitored the US plane throughout the process, and strictly guarded against them,” Shi said in a statement released by China’s Defense Ministry.
Shi added: “The Theater Command’s troops remain on high alert to resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and regional peace and stability.”
The Chinese military official recalled that the US warships and planes “have frequently carried out provocative actions, fully proving that the US is a disruptor of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and a creator of security risks in the Taiwan Strait.”
In a separate statement, the US military’s 7th Fleet, deployed in Asia-Pacific, said America Navy P-8A Poseidon aircraft transited the Taiwan Strait “in international airspace” on Friday.
“By operating within the Taiwan Strait in accordance with international law, the United States upholds the navigational rights and freedoms of all nations,” the 7th Fleet said.
“The aircraft’s transit of the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the United States’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific. The United States will continue to fly, sail, and operate anywhere international law allows including within the Taiwan Strait,” it added.