U.S. Reconnaissance Aircraft Flies over Taiwan
Oct. 23, 2020 (EIRNS)—A U.S. Air Force RC-135W signals intelligence aircraft flew over Taiwan sometime in the last few days in an obvious provocation against Beijing. The flight had been picked on plane tracking websites already, including that of the Beijing-based South China Seas Probing Initiative, but was officially confirmed to the War Zone’s Joseph Trevithick the day before yesterday.
“I can confirm that a RC-135W Rivet Joint aircraft did fly over the northern portion of Taiwan yesterday as part of a routine mission,” a public affairs officer for Pacific Air Forces said in a statement late on Oct. 21. “Due to operational security we are not able to discuss the specifics of the mission.”
This is rare—but not the first time U.S. aircraft have flown through Taiwan’s airspace. Flight tracking websites identified a U.S. Navy EP-3E intelligence aircraft flying over the island, including Taipei, in August, while a Navy C-40 passenger aircraft flew over Taiwan in June. Clearly, U.S. military overflights of Taiwan could not happen without the collaboration of Taiwanese air traffic authorities, at the very least.