Military planes from China and the U.S. enter Taiwan's airspace

06/09/2020 04:15 PM
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A Sukhoi Su-30 fighter/ CNA file photo
A Sukhoi Su-30 fighter/ CNA file photo

Taipei, June 9 (CNA) Several Chinese Sukhoi Su-30 fighters and a U.S. C-40 Clipper military transport plane flew in Taiwan's airspace Tuesday morning, Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense (MND) has confirmed.

In a short statement issued at 12:30 p.m., the MND said several Chinese Su-30s briefly entered Taiwan's air defense identification zone southwest of Taiwan, and Taiwan's Air Force responded with radio warnings and monitored their movements until they flew off.

"The MND is fully aware of the situation in waters and airspace surrounding Taiwan and is taking active measures to protect our territory," the ministry said.

It did not provide any other details on the intrusion of the Chinese war planes, including how many were involved and exactly when the incident happened.

The MND confirmed that a U.S. C-40A transport plane flew over Taiwan on Tuesday, following revelations by air radar trackers such as Golf9 and AirNav RadarBox.

"The U.S. aircraft entered our airspace after making a prior application in accordance with proper procedures. It did not land at any of our airports," the MND said in a separate statement.

The C-40A is the military version of the Boeing 737-700C airplane.

A U.S. C-40 Clipper takes off from an air base in Okinawa, Japan in this CNA file photo.
A U.S. C-40 Clipper takes off from an air base in Okinawa, Japan in this CNA file photo.

According to images posted by Golf9 on Twitter and AirNav RadarBox on its website, the U.S. Navy transport plane flew directly over Taiwan's west coast in a southerly direction Tuesday morning, after taking off from Okinawa, Japan.

The Golf9 described the C-40A's flight course as "rare" because the U.S. military usually operates only in international waters or airspace around Taiwan.

It is not clear whether the military operations of China and the U.S. were related.

The flights of the two superpowers' militaries came amid deteriorating cross-Taiwan Strait relations due to President Tsai Ing-wen's refusal to heed to Beijing's position on Taiwan's identity and increased tensions between Beijing and Washington due to differences on trade, the COVID-19 response, and the situation in Hong Kong.

(By Emerson Lim and Chen Yun-yu)

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