Taiwan scrambles jets as China’s air force holds drill near island

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Reuters

TAIPEI (Reuters) –Taiwan sent aircraft yesterday to shadow China air force fighter jets as they flew through the Bashi Channel to the south of the island.

China sent an unspecified number of Xian H-6 bombers, Su-30 fighter jets and Y-8 transport aircraft over the waterway on their way to the West Pacific Ocean, the Taiwan ministry said.

They were followed by Taiwan jets until the mainland aircraft returned to base.

China claims Taiwan as its own and considers the island a breakaway province. Chinese President Xi Jinping said last week Taiwan would face the “punishment of history” for any attempt at separatism.

Meeting New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu in Shanghai yesterday, the newly appointed head of China’s policy-making Taiwan Affairs Office, Liu Jieyi, said China was clear in its opposition to Taiwan independence.

Tensions are running high since US President Donald Trump signed a law that encourages the US to send senior officials to Taiwan to meet counterparts and vice versa.

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