A US C-130 transport plane arrived at the Tainan Air Force Base from a US Marine Corps base in Japan yesterday evening, carrying service crew to repair one of the two US F/A-18 jets that made an emergency landing in Tainan on Wednesday.
The repair crew arrived just hours after Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Hua Chunying (華春瑩) told a regular news briefing in Beijing that China had made solemn representations to the US about the US jets landing in Taiwan.
“We demand that the US strictly abide by the one China policy and the three joint communiques between China and the US and to deal with the relevant issue prudently,” she said.
Earlier in the day, the two F/A-18s had been moved into hangars belonging to Air Asia Co (亞洲航空), which provides aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul services at the Tainan Airport.
Meanwhile, US Department of Defense officials confirmed the two F/A-18 Hornets were from US Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 323 (VMFA-323), currently based at Marine Corp Air Station Iwakuni in Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan.
They said the planes landed in Tainan as a precaution and there had been no injuries to the crew or damage to the aircraft.
Screen grab from the Internet
A statement by the US Marine Corps’ press office late on Wednesday said: “A persistent engine oil pressure warning light precipitated the precautionary emergency landing.”
It also said that the Tainan Airport is an US-approved divert airfield and that the jets had been en route to Singapore to participate in the “Commando Sling” exercise with the city-state’s air force.
However, according to a source in Washington, the F/A-18s were providing escort and protection for a reconnaissance mission by an EA-6B Prowler, a tactical jamming aircraft used by the US Navy and Marine Corps.
An EA-6B Prowler can carry out armed reconnaissance, electronic jamming operations and aerial surveillance tasks, and provides defense against anti-ship missiles.
The Washington source said that due to the sensitivity of its mission, the EA-6B did not land in Tainan with its escort jets, but returned to its base in Japan.
The source said the escort mission took the F/A-18s and the EA-6B on a route along the air defense identification zone over the waters off the east coast of Taiwan and it was headed to either Singapore or the Philippines.
American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) spokesman Mark Zimmer said the US C-130 transport plane, carrying US maintenance personnel and aircraft parts, landed at 8:34pm.
The maintenance crew then headed straight to the hangars to begin repair work.
An AIT team has been sent to Tainan to provide assistance, Zimmer said.
It was not immediately clear how long it would take to repair the aircraft.
A Republic of China Air Force official said the US maintenance crew was expected to stay overnight to carry out the repairs.
The F/A-18s will depart Taiwan as soon as the repairs are completed and the aircraft pass safety tests, the official added.
Air Asia is now owned by Aerospace Corp (台翔航太), but during the Cold War it was an aircraft service unit for Air America, which was created by the CIA for covert operations in East Asia and Southeast Asia.
The company is certified for maintenance and servicing of various aircraft and has links with the US aviation industry, and its location renders the Tainan Airport a US-approved divert air field.
Additional reporting by CNA
INVASION: Former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe said: ‘A Taiwan emergency is a Japanese emergency, and therefore an emergency for the Japan-US alliance’ Japan and the US could not stand by if China attacked Taiwan, and Beijing needs to understand this, former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe said yesterday. Speaking virtually to a forum organized by Taiwanese think tank the Institute for National Policy Research, Abe said that the Senkaku Islands — known as the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台) in Taiwan — the Sakishima Islands and Yonaguni Island are only about 100km from Taiwan. An invasion of Taiwan would be a grave danger to Japan, he said. “A Taiwan emergency is a Japanese emergency, and therefore an emergency for the Japan-US alliance. People in Beijing, [Chinese] President
‘BADGE OF HONOR’: Lithuanian lawmaker Dovile Sakaliene, who is on China’s travel ban list, said delegation members joked that they would be joining her on it soon A delegation led by the chairman of the Lithuanian Parliamentary Group for Relations with Taiwan yesterday arrived in Taipei to participate in a conference on democracy later this week. The group, led by Matas Maldeikis, a Lithuanian lawmaker and an outspoken critic of China, touched down at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at 6:18am yesterday. Maldeikis said at the airport that he expected the trip to enhance understanding between Taiwan and Lithuania after cooperation between the two sides took a big step forward this past year. “This trip will be another step in understanding each other because we are dealing with the same challenges,”
GET A BOOST: After considering the potential for local outbreaks amid an increase in cases abroad, a committee recommended adolescents receive their second shots The level 2 COVID-19 alert is to be extended until Dec. 13, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced yesterday, as it advised people in six high-risk groups to receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot. It also recommended that adolescents aged 12 to 17 who had a first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine receive a second shot. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that the nationwide level 2 alert would remain in place for two more weeks from today. Chen said that during New Year’s events eating and drinking might be allowed in designated areas, while
‘HISTORIC’: The passage of the resolution by both chambers of the French parliament shows their concrete support for Taiwan’s global participation, the foreign ministry said The government yesterday thanked the French National Assembly for adopting a resolution on Monday in support of Taiwan’s international participation, following a similar resolution passed by the French Senate in May. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs praised the resolution’s passage as “historic” and as demonstrating the concrete support of both chambers of the French parliament for Taiwan’s participation in international affairs. Taiwan and France have shared a long-standing partnership characterized by a high level of trust, and based on the shared values of democracy, freedom and human rights, the ministry said. Passed on Monday in a 39-2 vote with three abstentions, the non-legally