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China Says U.S. Trespassing in Its Airspace After Documents Sent to Taiwan

Newsweek logo Newsweek 7/15/2021 John Feng
a small airplane sitting on top of a runway: File photo: C-146A Wolfhounds sit on the flightline at Duke Field, Florida. on October 30, 2019. Air commandos from the Air Force Reserve Command's 919th Special Operations Wing work alongside active-duty members and contractors to ensure the C-146As are able to execute missions in austere environments around the globe on short notice. © Senior Airman Dylan Gentile/U.S. Air Force File photo: C-146A Wolfhounds sit on the flightline at Duke Field, Florida. on October 30, 2019. Air commandos from the Air Force Reserve Command's 919th Special Operations Wing work alongside active-duty members and contractors to ensure the C-146As are able to execute missions in austere environments around the globe on short notice.

China warned of "serious consequences" for trespassing in its airspace on Thursday, hours after the U.S. Air Force delivered "diplomatic mail" to the de facto U.S. embassy in Taipei.

A C-146A Wolfhound, typically used by Air Force Special Operations Command, left Okinawa's Kadena Air Base in Japan before landing at Songshan Airport in Taiwan's capital at 9:32 a.m. local time, publicly available flight tracking data showed.

Wu Qian, a spokesperson for China's Defense Ministry, said in an online statement that Beijing expressed its "serious concern" over the stopover, which lasted just more than half an hour.


Gallery: UK-bound Hong Kongers say goodbye at airport (Reuters)

"Taiwan is part of China's sacred and inalienable territory," Wu said. "Any foreign military aircraft that lands on Chinese territory must obtain permission from the government of the People's Republic of China."

"Any foreign ships or planes trespassing into Chinese airspace will trigger serious consequences," he added.

Taiwan's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Joanne Ou told Newsweek the government would offer "no comments and no further explanation" about Thursday's brief visit.

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