China Sends Fighter Jets as US Offers Taiwan ‘Strong’ Support
Chinese air force jets briefly crossed over the midline of the Taiwan Strait on Monday and were tracked by Taiwanese missiles, Taiwan’s government said, as US health chief Alex Azar visited the island to offer President Donald Trump’s strong support. Azar arrived in Taiwan on Sunday as the highest-level US official to visit in four decades, a trip condemned by China which claims the island as its own, further degrading Sino-US relations.
China, which had promised unspecified retaliation to Azar’s trip, flew J-11 and J-10 fighter aircraft briefly onto Taiwan’s side of the sensitive and narrow strait which separates it from its giant neighbour, at around 9 am local time, shortly before Azar met Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan’s air force said. The Chinese aircraft were tracked by land-based Taiwanese anti-aircraft missiles and were “drive out” by patrolling Taiwanese aircraft, the air force said in a statement released by the defence ministry.