TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Two Chinese military turboprops entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Monday (March 8), marking the fourth such intrusion this month.
The People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) sent one Shaanxi Y-8 reconnaissance plane and one Shaanxi Y-8 anti-submarine warfare plane into the southwest corner of Taiwan’s ADIZ, according to the Ministry of National Defense (MND). In response, Taiwan scrambled fighter jets, issued radio warnings, and deployed air defense missile systems to track the aircraft.
Since mid-September of last year, Beijing has ratcheted up its gray-zone tactics by regularly sending planes into Taiwan’s ADIZ, with most instances occurring in the southwest corner of the zone and usually consisting of one to three planes. An ADIZ is an area that extends beyond a country’s air space where air traffic controllers ask incoming aircraft to identify themselves.
Gray zone tactics are defined as “an effort or series of efforts beyond steady-state deterrence and assurance that attempts to achieve one’s security objectives without resort to direct and sizable use of force.” Flights into the ADIZ, amphibious landing exercises, cyberattacks, naval patrols, and diplomatic isolation have all been used by China in an attempt to wear down Taiwan’s resolve to protect its sovereignty.
According to MND data, Chinese planes were tracked in Taiwan’s identification zone 17 times in February and 27 times in January. Last year, they were observed 19 times in December, 22 times in November, and 22 times in October, including a drone on Oct. 22.
Chinese Y-8 REECE (MND photo)
Flight paths of Chinese planes on March 8 (MND image)