TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Chinese military plane flew into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Thursday afternoon (July 15), marking the ninth intrusion this month.
A single People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Shaanxi Y-8 anti-submarine warfare aircraft 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 plane.
Yesterday’s intrusion marked the fourth day in a row Beijing had sent planes into the identification zone. All the planes this month have been slower-flying turboprops, consisting of electronic warfare, anti-submarine warfare, and reconnaissance variants.
Since September of last year, Beijing has stepped up gray zone tactics by frequently sending planes into Taiwan’s ADIZ, with most occurrences taking place in the southwest corner of the zone.
An ADIZ is an area that stretches 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 ADIZ 10 times in June, 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 July 15 (MND image)