TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Chinese military plane entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Thursday morning (June 3), marking the first intrusion this month.
A single People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Shaanxi Y-8 electronic warfare plane flew into the southwest corner of Taiwan’s ADIZ, according to the Ministry of National Defense (MND). In response, Taiwan sent aircraft, broadcast radio warnings, and deployed air defense missile systems to track the PLAAF plane.
A total of 29 Chinese planes were tracked in the identification zone in May, including 25 slow-flying turboprops, two fighter bombers, and two fighter jets. Of the slower-flying planes, anti-submarine warfare variants were tracked 14 times, electronic warfare variants eight times, reconnaissance types twice, and an airborne early warning and control variant once.
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 aircraft were tracked in the zone 18 times in May, 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.
Flight path of Chinese plane on June 3 (MND image)