Air Force MC-130J and RC-135 Rivet Joint Fly Through Taiwan Strait

A U.S. Air Force MC-130J Commando II special operations transport made a rare trip through the highly sensitive Taiwan Strait today, flying along the so-called "Median Line" that serves as the de facto boundary between Taiwan and mainland China. There was a variety of other interesting military aerial activity in the area around the same time, including an RC-135W Rivet Joint spy plane flying what appeared to be an intelligence-gathering operation just to the south and still unidentified aircraft flying an orbit within the Strait itself. It also came at a time when tensions between the U.S. and Chinese governments, as well as those between authorities in Tapei and Beijing, have flared over a host of issues, including Taiwanese plans to purchase advanced American Block 70 F-16 Viper fighter jets, ongoing protests in Hong Kong, and U.S.-China trade disputes.

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