On Thursday, a US Navy aircraft conducted a flight over the Taiwan Strait with the aim of showcasing Washington’s dedication to a free and open Indo-Pacific region. This demonstration was intended to emphasize the United States’ commitment to promoting and safeguarding the principles of freedom and openness in the area.
US military’s 7th Fleet, deployed for operations in the Asia-Pacific, said in a statement that the US Navy P-8A Poseidon transited the Taiwan Strait in “international airspace” on Thursday.
“By operating within the Taiwan Strait in accordance with international law, the United States upholds the navigational rights and freedoms of all nations,” the statement said.
China has often objected to the passage of US military planes and ships through the Taiwan Strait which divided the mainland from the island nation of Taiwan, which Beijing claims as its “breakaway province.”
It added: “The aircraft’s transit of the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the United States’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.”
Washington refers in its policy regarding the wider Asia-Pacific region as Indo-Pacific.
“The United States military flies, sails and operates anywhere international law allows,” said the 7th Fleet.
The US Navy aircraft’s voyage over Taiwan Strait comes as Taiwan detected 33 Chinese aircraft and nine vessels on Thursday.
Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said 24 of the detected aircraft crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait or entered Taiwan’s southwest and southeast air defense identification zone (ADIZ).
Beijing neither recognizes the median line nor ADIZ.
The island nation, which has insisted on its independence since 1949, is set to hold Han Kuang annual military exercise from July 24 to 28.