US Navy EP-3E reconnaissance aircraft passes by southwest Taiwan

Airplane flew loop southwest of Kaohsiung

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An EP-3E reconnaissance aircraft (photo by SDASM Archives) 

An EP-3E reconnaissance aircraft (photo by SDASM Archives)  (Wikimedia Commons photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Lockheed EP-3E reconnaissance aircraft operated by the United States Navy passed close by Taiwan’s southwest coast Wednesday, even flying near Kaohsiung, according to media reports.

The Ministry of National Defense said it was able to monitor all military activity off Taiwan’s coastline both in the air and in the sea, though it did not comment on the U.S. Navy plane in particular, the Liberty Times reported.

According to the Twitter account Aircraft Spots, the signals reconnaissance aircraft headed west over the Bashi Channel, which separates Taiwan from the Philippines, and then turned north over the Taiwan Strait, flying in a loop southwest of Kaohsiung before continuing west.

Despite the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Chinese warplanes have still approached Taiwan on several occasions over the past few months, while on March 12, a U.S. B-52 bomber and an MC-130J transport plane appeared close to the island.