US Fighter Jets Send Message to China With ‘Emergency’ Landing in Taiwan

Thursday, April 2, 2015
By Paul Martin

The landing of two US fighter jets on Taiwan on Wednesday has angered China’s Foreign Ministry. While the Pentagon says the planes suffered mechanical trouble while flying a routine training exercise, others see it as a political message, warning China to slow its growing influence.

The Taiwan Relations Act of 1979 outlined strict rules for how the United States should deal with the island. While Washington privately considers Taiwan to be an independent nation, China considers the island, only 140 miles from its shore, as its own territory under the “one-China policy.”

While the US has pledged support to Taipei, should it be attacked, any military contact between the two is heavily frowned upon by Beijing. Which is why Wednesday’s landing of two F-18s at the Tainan air base is so troubling — and unusual.

“We have already made solemn representations to the US side,” China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, said in a news briefing. “China demands that the United States strictly abide by the “one-China policy”…and cautiously and appropriately handle the incident.”

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