Mainland fighters spark scramble in straitTop News | Reuters Agence France-Presse 11 Aug 2020
Chinese fighter aircraft crossed the mid-line of the Taiwan Strait briefly yesterday and were tracked by Taiwan missiles as Alex Azar visited the island.
The Chinese J-11 and J-10 aircraft were tracked at around 9am by land-based anti-aircraft missiles and were then "driven out" by patrolling Taiwanese aircraft, air force officers said.
The incursion was only the third time since 2016 that Taiwan has said mainland fighters had crossed the median line.
They were intercepted just before Azar went into a meeting with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen.
Washington cut formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan in 1979, switching recognition to Beijing as sole representative of China.
But the United States at the same time maintained a decisive if sometimes delicate role in supporting Taiwan. Under a law passed by Congress, the United States sells Taiwan military gear to ensure its self-defense against Beijing's vastly larger armed forces.
Recent American presidents have been reluctant to sell big-ticket military items to Taiwan, fearful of incurring Beijing's wrath.
But Donald Trump's administration has no such qualms and has approved a string of military sales, including an US$8 billion (HK$62.2 billion) fighter aircraft deal to replace Taiwan's ageing fleet.
REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE