US Sends Spy Plane Over Taiwan Strait As Denunciations Become Daily
China has angrily condemned the latest US military move in the Taiwan Strait region. On Monday, a US Navy surveillance plane flew over the contested strait, drawing quick rebuke from Bejing.
A statement from China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) said that it firmly "opposes the US’s action, which has deliberately disrupted the regional situation and jeopardized the peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait."
The Navy's Seventh Fleet sent a P-8A Poseidon plane over the area while stressing it's ready and willing to "operate anywhere international law allows including within the Taiwan Strait."
Last summer, soon after in June China declared it sees the Taiwan Strait as "not international waters" - but instead its own territory, the Pentagon made a similarly provocative flight with a P-8A spy plane.
Tensions are particularly high at this moment of greatly frayed US-China relations. On Tuesday Secretary of State Antony Blinken vowed the US will sanction any Chinese firm caught doing military deals with Russia.
It was the most specific admonition on the issue yet, since Washington began ramping up accusations that Beijing is mulling lethal aid for Moscow to help execute its war in Ukraine:
"China can’t have it both ways when it comes to … the Russian aggression in Ukraine. It can’t be putting forward peace proposals on the one hand, while actually feeding the flames of the fire that Russia has started with the other hand," Blinken said in Kazakhstan.
"We did very clearly warn China about the implications and consequences of going through with providing such support," he continued.
"We will not hesitate, for example, to target Chinese companies or individuals that violate our sanctions, or otherwise engaged in supporting the Russian war effort," he said.
CNN bro in a US spy plane over South China Sea:— Carl Zha (@CarlZha) February 27, 2023
"Why Chinese war plane fly so close to us!" pic.twitter.com/0xZxPKpMl8
Lately the US-China superpower rivalry has morphed into a perpetuating standoff, taking the form of daily tit-for-tat denunciations and an increasing number of military encounters in both the Taiwan Strait and other areas in the South China Sea.
For example, it was only on Friday that an American P-8 spy plane was intercepted by a Chinese J-11 jet fighter, reportedly armed with four air-to-air missiles. According to The Wall Street Journal the Chinese aircraft had "passed above and settled a few hundred feet from the wing of the U.S. Navy plane." CNN captured the moment, as seen in the above clip.