TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Hours after Beijing's top legislative body unanimously passed the controversial national security law for Hong Kong, a U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon airplane was observed flying over the Taiwan Strait Tuesday morning (June 30), according to the Peking University Institute of Ocean Research's SCS Probing Initiative.
In a Twitter post published at 11:50 a.m., the Beijing think tank said an American warplane appeared north of the Taiwan Strait and less than 45 nautical miles off the Chinese baseline. It said the aircraft departed the U.S. Naval Air Facility Atsugi in Japan and was traveling in the direction of the South China Sea.
The movement also marked the tenth consecutive day U.S. military planes have been spotted in airspace near Taiwan, according to Yahoo News. Flights by U.S. military aircraft in the vicinity of Taiwan have become more frequent over the past few weeks, with the South China Sea as their destination.
Defense experts suggested recent U.S. activity could be associated with China's strategic nuclear submarines operating in the region.
While Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense (MND) has declined to comment on Tuesday's aerial movement, it said that the airspace and seas around the country were constantly being monitored and that there was no cause for concern over recent developments, reported CNA.
USN P-8A (AE68A2) departed Naval Air Facility Atsugi ,probably, for the #EastChinaSea mission. Now spotted operating north of #TaiwanStrait and less than 45nm off China's baseline, June 30. pic.twitter.com/A5l7TpDCYZ— SCS Probing Initiative (@SCS_PI) June 30, 2020