TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Four Chinese military planes entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Tuesday (April 6), marking the fourth such intrusion this month.
Two People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Shenyang J-16 fighter jets, one Shaanxi KJ-500 airborne early warning and control plane, and one Shaanxi Y-8 reconnaissance plane entered the southwestern corner of Taiwan’s ADIZ, according to the Ministry of National Defense (MND). In response, Taiwan scrambled planes, issued radio warnings, and deployed air defense missile systems to track the PLAAF aircraft.
Since mid-September of last year, Beijing has stepped 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 consisting of one to three slow-flying turboprop planes. In recent weeks, China has stepped up its harassment by including fighter jets (J-10s and J-16s) in their identification zone intrusions.
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 “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.”
According to MND data, Chinese planes were tracked in Taiwan’s ADIZ 18 times in March, 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 KJ-500 (MND photo)
Chinese Y-8 REECE (MND photo)
Flight paths of Chinese planes on April 6 (MND image)