U.S. Fighter Jets Land in Taiwan

While en route to Singapore to participate in a military exercise, two Okinawa-based F/A-18 fighter jets with the U.S. Marines Fighter Attack Squadron made an emergency landing at Taiwan’s Tainan Air Force Base on April 1 due to a mechanical problem experienced by one of the planes.

Guided to the base by jets from the ROC Air Force’s 443 Tactical Fighter Wing, the F/A-18s were the first American fighter planes to land in Taiwan since the United States and Taiwan ended formal diplomatic relations in 1979. The planes departed two days later after repair work was completed by U.S. maintenance personnel. China’s foreign ministry lodged “solemn representations” of complaint with the United States over the episode, while political observers in both Taiwan and the United States pointed to it as an example of the warm relations between the two countries despite the absence of formal ties.