A US Navy patrol plane flew over the Taiwan Strait on Friday, a US military statement said. China retaliated against the move, saying it had tracked the flight and called the action a provocation.
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In the statement, the US Navy said the patrol aircraft “demonstrates America’s commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific”, referring to the maritime region.
The aircraft on patrol was the P-8A Poseidon, which is used in maritime military operations and search and rescue missions.
Later, the Chinese military command said that Chinese warplanes had tracked the movement of the US plane.
“Recently, US ships and aircraft have frequently conducted provocative actions, which have fully demonstrated that the US is disrupting peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” a military spokesman said.
China considers the island of Taiwan a rebel province that is part of Chinese territory. Beijing says it is ready to take it back, even by force if necessary. Only 13 countries in the world recognize Taiwan’s sovereignty.
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