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
PAPERS, PLEASE: A digital certificate or a printout would return one of three results: green for ‘pass,’ red for ‘not passed’ or yellow for ‘to be determined,’ the CECC said Starting today, people can download a Digital COVID-19 Certificate, with the government now requiring people at night clubs, karaoke bars and other businesses in “eight major special establishment categories” to be fully vaccinated and present a vaccination certificate. The eight categories include dance venues, massage parlors, hostess bars and saunas. Customers and service personnel at the venues have a higher risk of contracting COVID-19, as they can neither avoid contact with people nor strictly observe distancing guidelines, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said. As such, both groups are required to be fully vaccinated, meaning that they must have had at least a
LAWMAKERS RALLY: Beijing’s unlegislated actions breach international and WTO trade rules, and affect the basic principles of the EU single market, the letter said A group of 41 EU lawmakers on Tuesday condemned China for its political and economic coercion of Lithuania, and called on leaders of the bloc to demonstrate solidarity with Vilnius. The letter was initiated by Slovakian Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Miriam Lexmann, who is cochair of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China. “We, the undersigned members of the European Parliament, resolutely condemn political and economic coercion of the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) against Lithuania,” the letter said. The letter addressed European Council President Charles Michel, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and
ORDER OF 66 JETS: Delivering the F-16s faster and enabling Taiwan to develop its fleet into one of the biggest in Asia would be based on ‘risk assessment,’ one official said The US is looking for ways to accelerate delivery of Taiwan’s next generation of newly built F-16 jets, US officials said, bolstering the Taiwanese air force’s ability to respond to what Taipei and Washington see as increasing intimidation by the Chinese military. The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that they have not yet come up with a solution on how to speed up delivery of Block 70 F-16s, manufactured by Lockheed Martin Corp and equipped with new capabilities. The aircraft are slated to be delivered by the end of 2026. Taipei has privately expressed its wish for a faster delivery
‘GOOD FRIEND’: The Slovenian prime minister said he had visited Taiwan four or five times, and that Taiwanese should have the right to determine their future The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday welcomed Slovenia’s plan to establish a representative office in Taiwan, after Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa revealed the plan in an interview with Indian TV station Doordarshan on Monday. Taiwan is a democratic country that respects international democratic standards and international laws, the Slovenian prime minister said in the interview. Slovenia and Taiwan are working on “exchanging representatives,” he said. “Of course, this will not be on the level of embassies. It will be on the same level as many of the EU member countries.” “When I spoke with our businessmen who are trading with Taiwan, they