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China Warns U.S. Following Emergency Landing of Two Marine Hornets in Taiwan

Two Marine Corps F/A-18C Hornets assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 323 fly a mission during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2010. Two planes from the same squadron made an emergency landing in Taiwan on Wednesday. US Navy Photo

Two Marine Corps F/A-18C Hornets assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 323 (VMFA-323) fly a mission during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2010. Two planes from the same squadron made an emergency landing in Taiwan on Wednesday. US Navy Photo

China issued the U.S. a warning not to interfere with its relationship with Taiwan following the Wednesday emergency landing of two Marine strike fighters in Taiwan.

During a Thursday press conference, a Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman said China had expressed concern over the emergency landing to the U.S.

“We have taken note of the relevant report, and have lodged solemn representations with the U.S. side,” spokeswoman Hua Chunying said, according to a transcript of the presser.
“China urges the US to abide by the one China policy and the principles enshrined in the three joint communiqués between China and the U.S., prudently and properly handle relevant issues and prevent similar case from emerging again.”

China regularly invokes a series of 1982 bilateral communiqués in which the U.S. agreed it would not interfere with Chinese internal affairs.

The two Boeing F/A-18C Hornets assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 323 (VMFA-323) were in transit to Singapore to participate in the air-to-air exercise Commando Sling when one of the aircraft had a mechanical malfunction and landed at Tainan airport in southern Taiwan.

“A persistent engine oil pressure warning light precipitated the precautionary emergency landing of one aircraft, the second landed in order to maintain section integrity,” Pentagon spokeswoman Henrietta Levin told USNI News on Thursday.

Tainan airport is an approved emergency divert field, Levin said.

The Hornets are still in Taiwan as of Thursday afternoon and a timeline for recovery is unclear, officials told USNI News.

The Hornets are based in Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif. and were flying from MCAS Iwakuni, Japan as part of the unit deployment program.