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Taipei Claims China Deployed 20 Aircraft into Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone

March 28 , 2021 (EIRNS)—Focus Taiwan, the English division of Taiwan’s “official” Central News Agency, reported March 26 that 20 Chinese military aircraft entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ), including bombers and fighter jets.

Among the PLA aircraft that allegedly participated in this exercise, reported Focus Taiwan, based on a report of Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense, were 10 Chinese J-16 multirole fighters, two J-10 multirole fighters, four H-6K bombers, two Y-8 anti-submarine warfare planes, one KJ-500 airborne early warning and control plane and one Y-8 tactical reconnaissance plane. This is the largest deployment in this vicinity since at least September 2020. Britain’s Guardian called it the largest deployment yet. According to the Congressional Research Service, “An ADIZ is an area of airspace beyond a country’s sovereign territory within which the country requires the identification, location, and air traffic control of aircraft in the interest of its national security. There is no international law that specifically governs ADIZs.”

A number of media, including Focus Times, have attributed the Chinese air wing deployment as a response to the provocative action by the Biden administration and Taiwan signing on March 25, a memorandum of understanding establishing a joint U.S.-Taiwan Coast Guard Working Group to coordinate policy, that would include the coordination to “improve communications, build cooperation, and share information.” That’s what was published, but the full extent of the understandings reached may not be known. On March 26 Bloomberg reported that “the statement ... did not say whether closer cooperation meant that U.S. vessels would be used in Taiwanese waters.” This follows Taiwan’s passing a law in January that allows its coast guard to fire on foreign vessels.

However, there is a larger context of Anglo-American provocations against China, for which China might be sounding that it will not be inactive. This includes the sustained campaign of lies that China has carried out genocide against Uighurs in Xinjiang, and the statement by Adm. Charles Richard, commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, that “There is the real possibility that a regional crisis with Russia and China could escalate quickly to a conflict involving nuclear weapons.” On March 3, President Biden and his security team issued a 24-page United States Interim Security Guidance, which has particularly aggressive language against China.

The MOU was signed between Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO) and the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), a Taiwan-based private corporation, which is largely funded by the U.S. State Department, established in 1979 when the U.S. recognized the People’s Republic of China, including the One-China policy. “Since the signing of the Taiwan Relations Act in 1979, AIT and TECRO have worked to encourage deeper cooperation between our two societies, and today’s MOU is the latest reflection of these efforts,” wrote AIT in its March 25 press release.

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