Taiwan warded off Chinese aircraft with air force jets on Tuesday, Taipei's defense ministry said. File Photo by Ritchie B. Tongo/EPA-EFE

Taiwan warded off Chinese aircraft with air force jets on Tuesday, Taipei’s defense ministry said. File Photo by Ritchie B. Tongo/EPA-EFE
June 9 (UPI) — U.S. and Chinese aircraft flew in Taiwanese airspace on Tuesday, amid high tensions between Washington and Beijing.

Taiwan’s defense ministry said several Chinese Su-30 fighters temporarily entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone in the southwest, local news service Liberty Times reported.

The ministry said the Taiwanese military issued warning broadcasts and air force jets were scrambled to expel the Chinese jets from the zone.

“We are taking full control of the sea and airspace surrounding the Taiwan Strait,” the ministry said.

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Chinese state media, including the Global Times, confirmed the Chinese flight, but added it was not uncommon for Chinese fighter jets to fly around Taiwan.

Relations between Taipei and Beijing have continued to decline since the re-election of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen. Tsai has challenged Beijing’s One-China policy and has said Taiwan is an independent country.

Chinese aircraft have entered airspace near Taiwan seven times this year, according to reports.

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U.S. Navy planes have also stepped up activity near Taiwan, according to online aircraft trackers including AirNav RadarBox, Taiwan News reported Tuesday.

A U.S. Navy Boeing C-40A Clipper departed from Okinawa and flew directly over northern Taiwan, according to the report.

Shih Shun-wen, a spokesman for Taiwan’s defense ministry, neither confirmed nor denied the U.S. Navy jet flight. It is also unclear whether the U.S. plane had requested an emergency landing in Taiwan, according to multiple press reports.

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More Taiwanese are souring on China’s handling of various issues, including the ongoing protests in Hong Kong.

The South China Morning Post reported Tuesday protesters are playing a game of “cat and mouse,” dispersing then regrouping as police try to detain the demonstrators.

Hong Kong police have called the protests “unauthorized assemblies,” according to the report.