China’s military said on April 17 it sent fighter jets to monitor and warn a US Navy patrol aircraft that flew over the sensitive Taiwan Strait, a mission that took place just hours after a call between the Chinese and US defense chiefs, Report informs referring to Reuters.

China claims sovereignty over democratically governed Taiwan and says it has jurisdiction over the strait. Taiwan and the United States dispute that, saying the Taiwan Strait is an international waterway.

The US Navy’s 7th Fleet said the P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol and reconnaissance plane, which is also used for anti-submarine missions, flew over the strait in international airspace.

“By operating within the Taiwan Strait in accordance with international law, the United States upholds the navigational rights and freedoms of all nations,” it said in a statement. “The aircraft’s transit of the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the United States’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.”

China’s military described the flight as “public hype”, adding it had sent fighters to monitor and warn the US plane and “deal with it in accordance with the law and regulations”.

“Troops in the theatre are always on high alert and will resolutely defend national sovereignty and security as well as regional peace and stability,” the Eastern Theatre Command of the People’s Liberation Army said in a statement.

Taiwan’s defense ministry said that the US aircraft flew south through the strait and that Taiwanese forces had monitored the situation but observed nothing unusual.

There was no immediate reaction from China.

The last time the US Navy announced a Poseidon had flown through the strait, in December, China’s military said it had also sent fighter jets to monitor and warn the aircraft.