TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Chinese military plane entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Tuesday (May 11), marking the sixth intrusion this month.
A single People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Shaanxi Y-8 electronic warfare aircraft flew into the southwest corner of Taiwan’s ADIZ, according to the Ministry of National Defense (MND). In response, Taiwan dispatched fighter jets, issued radio warnings, and deployed air defense missile systems to track the PLAAF aircraft.
So far this month, Beijing has sent aircraft into Taiwan’s identification zone on May 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, and 11, all consisting of slow-flying turboprops. Since September of last year, Beijing has stepped up its gray zone tactics by frequently 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 "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 detected and tracked in Taiwan’s identification zone 22 times in April, 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 path of Chinese plane on May 11 (MND image)