Photo Credit: Dmitry Terekhov via Wikimedia
Russian Air Force Su-35S

Taiwanese Twitter users on Friday morning reported that a “Chinese Communist Party’s People’s Liberation Army Sukhoi Su-35 fighter plane crashed in Guangxi,” an autonomous coastal region in southern China, bordering Vietnam, after intruding over the Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea. The pilot was seriously injured.

Guangxi (circled) and Taiwan / Google Maps

According to these reports, Taiwan’s air defense system shot down the plane. Taiwan’s ministry of defense said the reports claiming it shot down a Chinese plane are not true.

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Nicola Smith, Asia correspondent at The Telegraph, wrote that “Taiwan’s ministry of defence has responded categorically that this is fake news.”

In November 2015, China and Russia signed a contract worth $2 billion to buy 24 Sukhoi Su-35 aircraft for the People’s Liberation Army Air Force, the first export deal for the Russian warplane.

In March 2019, it was reported that Egypt is planning to purchase “more than two dozen” Su-35s from Russia in a deal also worth about $2 billion. Deliveries were expected to begin in 2020 or 2021.

Taiwan is a major investor in the autonomous region of Guangxi, with more than a thousand Taiwanese startups and close to $5 billion in exports. The cooperation between Guangxi and Taiwan is in manufacturing, high-tech electronic industries, agriculture, energy resources and tourism.

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