TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Chinese military aircraft entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Monday morning (May 24), marking the 16th intrusion this month.
According to the Ministry of National Defense (MND), a single People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Shaanxi Y-8 electronic warfare plane flew into the southwest corner of the ADIZ. In response, Taiwan sent aircraft, issued radio warnings, and deployed air defense missile systems to track the PLAAF plane.
Most of China's intrusions into Taiwan’s identification zone this month have consisted of one to two Y-8 turboprops. So far, anti-submarine warfare variants have been tracked 13 times, electronic warfare variants 8 times, and reconnaissance variants 2 times.
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 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 24 (MND photo)