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US Bombers Fly Near Taiwan After Chinese ‘Aggression’; Beijing Warned To “Focus On Fighting Coronavirus”

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Originally appeared at ZeroHedge

Though all eyes are on the deadly coronavirus pandemic, another dangerous military close encounter just played out off Taiwan’s coast on Wednesday.

“Three U.S. Air Force planes, including two B-52 bombers, flew near Taiwan on Wednesday, the island’s defense ministry said, after Taiwan’s air force scrambled earlier in the week to intercept Chinese jets,” Reuters reports.

The prior Sunday and Monday incidents involved Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) bombers and fighters approaching the self-declared Republic of China (Taiwan), before Taiwan scrambled its own US-supplied F-16 fighters to shadow the ‘invading’ aircraft.

US Bombers Fly Near Taiwan After Chinese 'Aggression'; Beijing Warned To "Focus On Fighting Coronavirus"

Chinese air force H-6 bomber near a Taiwan F-16. February 10 photo by Taiwan Ministry of National Defense, via Reuters.

A senior US State Department official in the region called China’s behavior “completely inappropriate” and condemned the “aggressive act.”

Wednesday’s “response” by the Americans consisted in the following:

Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said one U.S. MC-130, a special mission aircraft based on the C-130 Hercules transport aircraft, flew down the Taiwan Strait in a southerly direction on Wednesday.

The two U.S. B-52 bombers skirted Taiwan’s east coast, also in a southerly direction, the ministry added.

Beijing has been engaged in provocative “island encirclement drills” somewhat routinely over the past half decade, resulting in multiple close encounters with US and Taiwanese forces, especially in the air and water, especially the contested Taiwan Strait.

Taiwan Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou pledged that such Chinese aggression will only “deepen cooperation with countries with similar ideals, including the United States, in response to the rising Chinese military threat.”

US Bombers Fly Near Taiwan After Chinese 'Aggression'; Beijing Warned To "Focus On Fighting Coronavirus"

There’s little new here in such provocations and reactions, and counter-statements out of Taipei; however, Taiwan officials have tapped into a new argument sure to add insult to injury amid its ongoing standoff to assert territorial control in the face of much larger and more powerful China.

Reuters reports of a deeply provocative statement amid China’s worst crisis in years:

Taiwan has urged China to focus its efforts on fighting the new coronavirus rather than menacing the island.

No doubt this will do little to east tensions, and will only exacerbate them, likely only giving further invitation for China to “save face” and attempt to show that its military is stronger than ever and remains ‘undistracted’ by the deadly and society-threatening pandemic in its midst.

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  • occupybacon

    China is trying to divert attention from main land problems, like anny communist regime

    • George King

      Speaking of diversions; At the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 2012, Xi Jinping was elected as the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, by the delegates of the communist party. The Chinese system could be slightly modified to put the top ten selected and vetted contenders, (for the post of General Secretary of the Communist Party of China) up for national Presidential Election. The Chinese people could then vote for their President, in a Chinese Democratic Election. ……Would western commentators and their media accept this system as a democracy?……

      Absolutely not! …… But this is almost exactly what the US Presidential Elections are. Only selected and vetted members of the Democrats or Republican Party (Which are virtually the same Party, The Wall Street Party) are allowed to stand for Presidential Election. On Policy and ideology, all the candidates are virtually identical, (as they would have been weeded out of the Party, years before hand if they actually believed in a different ideology) and the naive electorate, simply get to pick a personality from within an established ideology, which is a Neoliberal Ideology.

      This is not a choice for the people, just The illusion of choice, which satisfies half of the imbecilic electorate and disgruntles the other half, who will ‘win’ the next time, in the game called The illusion of choice!

    • St. Augustine

      You’d never see a democracy do such a thing.

      Except always.

  • goingbrokes

    Lol! US can fly nuclear capable bombers next to Russia, China, North Korea, Iran etc., basically on the other side of the world. But when China flies its bombers near Taiwan, which it occasionally must as Taiwan is not that far from the Chinese coast, US calls it “completely INAPPROPRIATE” and an “aggressive act”. Phew.