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US P-8A sub-hunter patrols over Taiwan Strait

7th Fleet said flight 'demonstrates the United States' commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific'

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US Navy P-8A Poseidon anti-submarine warfare aircraft. (US Navy photo)

US Navy P-8A Poseidon anti-submarine warfare aircraft. (US Navy photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A U.S. submarine hunting aircraft flew over the Taiwan Strait on Wednesday (Dec. 6), according to the Ministry of National Defense (MND).

The U.S. Navy's Seventh Fleet on Wednesday said a U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon anti-submarine warfare (ASW) plane had "transited the Taiwan Strait in international airspace" by "operating within the Taiwan Strait in accordance with international law." It said the U.S. "upholds the navigational rights and freedoms of all nations."

The Seventh Fleet said the aircraft's flight "demonstrates the United States' commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific." It added the U.S. military "flies, sails, and operates anywhere international law allows."

The MND at 2:20 p.m. announced that a U.S. P-8A ASW aircraft flew from north to south along the median line of the Taiwan Strait Wednesday morning. It said during this period, the Taiwanese military monitored the surrounding sea and air space, and the situation remained normal.

At 9 a.m., the MND announced that it had tracked seven Chinese military aircraft and five naval vessels around Taiwan from 6 a.m. Tuesday (Dec. 5) and 6 a.m. on Wednesday (Dec. 6). None of the aircraft had crossed the median line or entered the southwest corner of Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ).