Chinese Fighter Pursues U-2 over Taiwan Strait

A Chinese Su-27 fighter reportedly crossed the centerline of the Taiwan Strait—the unofficial dividing line between communist China and democratic Taiwan—in pursuit of a U-2 reconnaissance aircraft late last month. The Washington Times reported Monday that the U-2, staging from Kadena AB, Japan, was flying over the international waters of the Strait on a routine recon mission on June 29 when the Chinese sent two Su-27s after it. One Su-27 turned back before reaching the dividing line, but the other kept going. Alerted to the approaching fighters, the U-2 pilot reportedly cut short his mission and headed home. The pursuing Su-27 turned back after two Taiwanese F-16s scrambled after it, according to the accounts. The incident occurred less than two weeks before Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen made an official visit to Beijing to continue promoting improved US-Chinese military-to-military ties. (Bloomberg report) (Focus Taiwan report)