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U.S. spy plane flies from South Korea into Taiwanese air space

A South Korea-based online aviation tracker published data tracking the U.S. U-2S surveillance aircraft near Taiwan on Thursday. File Photo courtesy of Master Sgt. Rose Reynolds/U.S. Air Force
A South Korea-based online aviation tracker published data tracking the U.S. U-2S surveillance aircraft near Taiwan on Thursday. File Photo courtesy of Master Sgt. Rose Reynolds/U.S. Air Force

Dec. 10 (UPI) -- A U.S. spy plane flew from the Korean Peninsula into Taiwanese air space, according to a South Korea-based aviation tracker.

No Callsign published data of the movements of the U.S. U-2S surveillance aircraft to Twitter on Thursday. According to the tracker, the spy plane flew from Osan Air Base in South Korea to an area of the South China Sea close to Taiwan.

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The plane's movement was tracked from the U.S. air base in South Korea to airspace over Taiwanese waters Thursday morning, Korea time. The plane was detected five hours later flying over the West Sea, or Yellow Sea, on the western side of the Korean Peninsula, according to South Korean news service News 1.

U.S. spy planes, including the RC-135W, have been detected near Taipei in 2020, but the U.S. Air Force has retracted past confirmations about reconnaissance missions, according to Taiwan News.

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Tensions between the United States and China have risen in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic and U.S. sanctions of Chinese officials.

China has warned the United States with aerial drills this year. On Wednesday, two Chinese military planes entered Taiwan's ADIZ, the seventh incursion in December, according to Taiwan News on Thursday.

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The Chinese planes, a People's Liberation Army Air Force Shaanxi Y-8 electronic warfare plane, and a Shaanxi Y-8 reconnaissance aircraft, flew in a southwest corner of the Taiwanese air zone, Taiwan's military said.

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In November, Chinese military planes were detected 22 times in Taiwan's ADIZ, and 20 times in October, according to the report.

On Tuesday Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said Taiwan faces daily military threats from "authoritarian forces." Tsai's statement came as the United States confirmed a $280 million arms sale package to Taipei, according to Al Jazeera.

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