TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Chinese military plane flew into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Wednesday afternoon (June 16), marking the fifth intrusion this month.
A 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 turboprop.
Slow-flying Chinese turboprops had been tracked in the identification zone on three previous occasions this month: on June 3, June 4, and June 14. However, on Tuesday (June 15), Beijing carried out its largest incursion so far this year by sending 28 planes into the southern reaches of the ADIZ.
Since September, Beijing has dialed up its gray zone tactics by frequently sending planes into the 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 Taiwan’s identification 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 16 (MND image)