TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Chinese military aircraft entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Sunday afternoon (July 25), marking the 12th intrusion this month.
A People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Shaanxi Y-8 anti-submarine warfare plane was tracked in the southwestern corner of the 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 plane.
Every Chinese military plane spotted in Taiwan’s identification zone this month has been a slow-flying turboprop. The aircraft have consisted of anti-submarine warfare, electronic warfare, and reconnaissance variants.
Since September of last year, Beijing has stepped up gray zone tactics by routinely sending aircraft into Taiwan’s ADIZ, with most occurrences 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 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 Y-8 on July 25 (MND image)