TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Chinese military turboprop entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Monday morning (May 17), marking the 10th intrusion this month.
One People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Shaanxi Y-8 electronic warfare plane flew into the southwest corner of the 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.
Chinese planes have been tracked in Taiwan’s identification zone on May 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 14, 15, and 17, with each incident involving one to two slow-flying turboprops. Since last September, 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 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 17 (MND image)