US Air Force conducts flybys around Taiwan after China’s provocative air maneuvers

American B-52 long-range bombers, and a C-130J flew east and west of Taiwan yesterday, February 12, just two days after a Chinese bomber crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait.

According to Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense (MOD), two US Air Force B-52s skirted Taiwan’s air-defense zone off the east coast of Taiwan moving north to south, while an MC-130J flew in the same direction via the Taiwan Strait to the west between Taiwan and China.

The flights come just two days after China’s People’s Liberation Army sent bombers and escorts on flybys around Taiwan.

On consecutive days, February 9 and 10, the PLA flew a H-6 bomber with escort aircraft through the Bashi Channel between Taiwan and the Philippines, then back to China via the Miyako Strait, between Taiwan and Japan, effectively circumnavigating the beleaguered nation that China claims “are belong to us.”

After China described the maneuvers as actions to guard national sovereignty, US State Department assistant secretary for political-military affairs Clarke Cooper, speaking from Singapore, told CNBC that is was “completely inappropriate of China to take such an aggressive act.”

“That aggressive act is not just a reflection on China’s relationship with Taiwan, it certainly is reflective about how China may be looking at the entire region in total,” Cooper said, according to a Reuters report.

In Taiwan, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Joanne Ou stated: “Our government will continue to adopt a pragmatic and restrained stance, prudently handle cross-strait relations, and deepen cooperation with countries with similar ideals, including the United States, in response to the rising Chinese military threat.”

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