TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Two Chinese military planes entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Thursday (April 8), marking the sixth intrusion this month.
A pair of People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Shaanxi Y-8 anti-submarine warfare planes flew into Taiwan’s ADIZ, according to the Ministry of National Defense (MND). One of the planes entered the southwest corner of the zone, while the other flew in from the south. In response, Taiwan scrambled planes, broadcast radio warnings, and deployed air defense missile systems to track the aircraft.
Since mid-September of last year, Beijing has stepped up its gray-zone tactics by regularly sending aircraft into Taiwan’s ADIZ, with most instances occurring in the southwest corner of the zone and usually 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 incursions.
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 military planes were tracked in Taiwan’s identification zone 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.
Flight paths of Chinese planes on April 8 (MND image)