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China Reacts to US Delegation's Surprise Taiwan Visit by Deploying Dozens of Warplanes

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China sent 30 warplanes Monday to Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone, according to Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense.

The maneuver coincides with a previously unannounced visit Monday by a U.S. congressional delegation led by Democratic Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois to the island nation’s capital Taipei.

The Chinese planes transiting through Taiwan’s ADIZ that day included two Shaanxi KJ-500 airborne early warning and control aircraft, four Y-8 electronic intelligence planes, one Y-8 electronic warfare aircraft and one Y-8 anti-submarine warfare airplane.

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Also among the 30 warplanes were six Shenyang J-16 multirole strike fighters, eight J-11 jet fighters, four J-10 multirole combat aircraft, two SU-35 air defense fighters, and two SU-30 multirole fighter aircraft.

The Monday maneuver by China is its second-largest aerial intrusion into Taiwan’s ADIZ since January 2022, The Guardian reported.

The congressional delegation met with Taiwan’s Foreign Affairs Minister Jaushieh Joseph Wu on Monday. The foreign ministry hosted a welcome banquet for the Illinois Democrat and her delegation at the Taipei Guest House.

On Tuesday, the delegation met with Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen for talks on “regional security, economic and trade cooperation, and all issues related to US-Taiwan bilateral relations,” Xavier Chang, a spokesman for Ing-wen’s office, said, according to CNN.

Tsai announced Tuesday that the two countries have planned “cooperation” between the U.S. National Guard and Taiwan’s armed forces, Reuters reported.

“The U.S. Department of Defense is now proactively planning cooperation between the U.S. National Guard and Taiwan’s defense forces,” Taiwan’s president said, according to the wire service.

“We look forward to closer and deeper Taiwan-U.S. cooperation on matters of regional security,” Tsai further said.

“In the near future, we look forward to Taiwan and the United States working together in taking new steps to develop concrete plans that further deepen our economic partnership.”

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The present visit to Taiwan is Duckworth’s second. The Illinois Democrat had previously visited the island country in June 2021 with a bipartisan delegation to discuss COVID-19 matters, among other concerns.

During the 2021 visit, Duckworth had also announced the U.S. transfer of 750,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses to the country after it suffered from issues relating to importing vaccines because of hindrances from Beijing, which considers Taiwan to be a breakaway province of China.

The Monday maneuver by the People’s Liberation Army Air Force comes a week after U.S. President Joe Biden pledged that the U.S. would intervene militarily should China attack Taiwan during a May 23 news conference in Japan.

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“When it comes to issues related to China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and other core interests, there is no room for China to compromise or make concessions, and no one should underestimate the strong determination, firm will and strong ability of the Chinese people to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi said of Biden’s remarks, France 24 reported.

“Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory. The Taiwan issue is purely an internal affair of China that allows no foreign intervention,” Wang said.

China’s foreign ministry condemned Duckworth’s visit to Taiwan.

“China will continue to take strong measures to resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said of the Illinois Democrat’s visit, according to Reuters.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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