Chinese military says U.S. plane in Taiwan Strait endangered peace
SHANGHAI (Reuters) -China’s military said on Saturday that the recent fly through of a U.S. maritime plane through the Taiwan Strait deliberately disrupted the regional situation and endangered peace and stability.
Colonel Shi Yi, spokesman for the Eastern Theater Command of the People’s Liberation Army, said in a statement that the military had organised air and ground forces to monitor the U.S. aircraft’s operation, which had taken place on Friday.
He added that they firmly opposed the actions by the United States and that their troops remained high on alert.
The U.S. navy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Taiwan Strait has been a frequent source of military tension since the defeated Republic of China government fled to Taiwan in 1949 after losing a civil war with the communists, who established the People’s Republic of China.
China has said previously that it has sovereignty and jurisdiction over the Taiwan Strait while the United States and Taiwan assert that the strait separating the island from China is an international waterway.
The latest tension over the strait comes after Taiwan on Thursday said it had scrambled jets to warn away 22 Chinese aircraft in its air defence zone, the second large scale incursion reported during the week.
Taiwan, which China claims as its own territory, has complained in recent years of repeated missions by the Chinese air force near the democratically governed island, often in the southwestern part of its air defence identification zone, or ADIZ, close to the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands.
(Reporting by Brenda Goh and Ella Cao; Additional reporting by Ben Blanchard in Taipei; Editing by Michael Perry)