Chinese jets briefly cross mid-line over strait as US pledges support for Taiwan
TAIPEI (TAIWAN) – After US health chief Alex Azar visited Taiwan and pledged US President Donald Trump’s support for the island nation, China scrambled fighter jets, which briefly crossed the mid-line of the Taiwan Strait on Monday. The aircraft were tracked by Taiwan’s missiles.
Azar arrived in Taipei on Sunday and he is the first high profile US official to visit the country in forty years. The visit has been condemned by China, which claims the island as its own.
Beijing flew J-11 and J-10 fighter aircraft briefly over the strait which separates the nation from China at 9 am shortly before Azar met Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, said Taiwanese air force said.
The Chinese aircraft were tracked by anti-aircraft missiles and were “driven out” by patrolling Taiwanese aircraft, said the defence ministry.
This is for the third time since 2016 that Chinese jets have crossed the strait’s median line to provoke Taiwan.
With ties between Beijing and Washington waning, the Trump administration has strengthened its support for Taiwan and boosted arms sales.
“It’s a true honour to be here to convey a message of strong support and friendship from President Trump to Taiwan,” Azar told Tsai.
(Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field