TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Chinese military turboprop flew into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone on Thursday afternoon (May 6), marking the third intrusion this month.
A single People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Shaanxi Y-8 anti-submarine warfare plane entered the southwest corner of Taiwan’s ADIZ, according to the Ministry of National Defense (MND). In response, Taiwan sent aircraft, issued radio warnings, and deployed air defense missile systems to track the PLAAF airplane.
Since September of last year, Beijing has stepped up its gray zone tactics by regularly sending planes into Taiwan’s ADIZ, with most instances taking place in the southwest corner of the zone.
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 identification zone 22 times in April, 18 times in March, 17 times in February, 27 times in January, while 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 path of Chinese plane on May 6 (MND image)