US Air Force special ops tanker plane flies over Taiwan Strait

Same type of plane took similar route a month ago: Ministry of National Defense

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An MC-130J above New Mexico (USAF photo by James Bell).

An MC-130J above New Mexico (USAF photo by James Bell). (Wikimedia Commons photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – An MC-130J aerial refueling aircraft from the United States Air Force Special Operations Command flew close to the middle line of the Taiwan Strait Thursday (September 26), according to the Minister of National Defense.

A plane of the same type had flown the same route just a month earlier, on August 29, the Central News Agency reported.

The military said it had monitored Thursday’s route around noon from start to finish, and nothing untoward had occurred during the flight close to Taiwan. It also added the habitual statement that the waters and airspace surrounding the island were being watched permanently to follow the movements of ships and aircraft, so there was no need for the public to be worried.

The tanker aircraft reportedly flew from north to south before turning southeast once past Taiwan.

The recurring appearance of U.S. aircrafts and ships in the area came as tension in the region has been marked by China’s aggressive stance on disputes in the South China Sea, protests in Hong Kong, and the campaign for the January 11, 2020 presidential and legislative elections in Taiwan.