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Taiwan: Two US bombers flying near the island after Chinese exercises

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — The US Air Force sent three aircraft, including two B-52 bombers, to fly close to the island on Wednesday after the Taiwan air force pushed fighter jets earlier this week to intercept Chinese aircraft, the Taiwan Defense Ministry said.

The United States is the most important supporter of Taiwan even though there are no formal diplomatic relations between them, and it is also the main source of arms for the island.

Tensions rose between Taiwan and China, which says Taiwan is part of its territory, on Sunday and Monday, when Taiwan pushed F-16s to intercept Chinese fighters approaching the island.

China has been carrying out what it calls “island encirclement” exercises intermittently since 2016 when Taiwan President Tsai Ing Wen took office. Beijing believes Cai, who won a new term last month, wants to move forward formally independence for the island.

Cai says Taiwan is an independent country and its official name is the Republic of China.

The Taiwan Ministry of Defense said that a US MC-130 plane, a special mission plane, flew over the Taiwan Strait towards the south.

The ministry added that two B-52s flew over the east coast of Taiwan, further south.

It stated that the Taiwan armed forces monitored sorties, and did not detect anything unusual. She did not provide more details.

The U.S. Air Force has a large base on Okinawa island in southern Japan, near Taiwan.

China described its training on Sunday and Monday as a measure to safeguard national sovereignty.

Taiwan urged China to focus its efforts on fighting the new Coronavirus instead of threatening the island.

Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Guan O said in a statement earlier on Wednesday that China’s military activities could only stir anger on the island and harm the peaceful development of relations on both sides of the strait.

“Our government will continue to adopt a pragmatic and restrained attitude, to deal with care with cross-strait relations and to deepen cooperation with countries adopting similar ideas, including the United States, in response to the growing Chinese military threat,” she added.

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