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Taiwan registers largest number of PLA aircraft entering its ADIZ since at least mid-September 2020

Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense (MND) announced on 12 April that a total of 25 Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft entered the island’s air defence identification zone (ADIZ) on 12 April: the largest number registered since the MND began making public PLA aircraft movements near Taiwan in mid-September 2020.

The ministry said in a statement that the aircraft included 14 J-16 and four J-10 multirole fighters, four H-6K 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.

The development, which comes amid heightened tensions between Taipei and Beijing over the status of Taiwan, took place three days after the US State Department issued new guidelines to facilitate interaction between US officials and their Taiwanese counterparts and thus “encourage US government engagement with Taiwan that reflects our deepening unofficial relationship”.

The State Department said in a statement that the guidelines “liberalise guidance on contacts with Taiwan, consistent with our unofficial relations, and provide clarity throughout the executive branch on effective implementation of our ‘One China’ policy, which is guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, the three Joint Communiques, and the Six Assurances”.

The new guidelines were issued “following a review as set forth in the Taiwan Assurance Act,” it added.

Beijing, which regards Taiwan as a break-away province, has vowed to re-unite the island with the mainland.

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