Chinese military aircraft flew over the Bashi Channel waterway between Taiwan and the Philippines just a few days after the US Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson said that the US Navy will not rule out sending aircraft carriers through the Taiwan Strait.
The PLA Navy and Air Force have been conducting patrols near Taiwanese waters and airspace ever since pro-independence Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen was elected in 2016.
A Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jet and a Shaanxi Y-8 transport plane manned by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) were seen flying over the channel.
The Taiwanese military sent aircraft and surveillance ships in response to ensure the safety of national airspace and sea areas.
Relations between mainland China and Taiwan have been tense since 1949. China considers self-governing Taiwan part of its territory and claims sovereignty over it.
Taiwan, by comparison, still bears the name of the pre-communist-era government, the Republic of China, whose territorial control was confined to the island at the end of the civil war in 1949.
When the People’s Republic of China was established in Beijing on the mainland, Chinese Taipei ran their own protectorate.
But now Taiwan holds live-fire drills in order to enhance combat readiness, starting off a number of combat exercises scheduled for 2019 that Taiwan Major General Yeh Kuo-hui announced earlier this month are meant to defend “against a possible Chinese invasion.
Sputnik / ABC Flash Point News 2019.