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20 PLA aircraft enter Taiwan's ADIZ after Taipei and Washington sign coast guard co-operation agreement

Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense (MND) accused 20 Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft of entering the island’s Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) on 26 March, a day after Washington and Taipei signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on coast guard co-operation.

The MND said in a statement that the aircraft included 10 J-16 and two J-10 multirole fighters, four H-6 strategic bombers, two KQ-200 anti-submarine warfare (ASW)-capable aircraft, as well as one KJ-500 airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) platform, and one Y-8 reconnaissance aircraft.

The Republic of China Air Force (RoCAF) reacted by scrambling fighters, issuing radio warnings, and mobilising air-defence assets until the PLA aircraft left the area, said the MND.

Taiwan’s state-owned Central News Agency (CNA) quoted the ministry as saying that the PLA’s latest show of force was “the biggest in terms of the number of planes deployed since the MND began to make public PLA aircraft movements near Taiwan in mid-September 2020”.

The latest developments came only a day after the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) announced that it had signed an MoU with the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO) – Taiwan’s principal representative office in the United States – to establish the ‘Coast Guard Working Group (CGWG)’, a new forum aimed at “improving communications, building co-operation, and sharing information between AIT and TECRO through their respective designated representatives, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) and the Taiwan Coast Guard”.

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