TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Chinese military plane entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Sunday morning (Aug. 29), marking the 13th intrusion this month.
A People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Shaanxi Y-8 reconnaissance plane flew into the southwest corner of the 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.
While all the Chinese aircraft sent in July were slow-flying Y-8 turboprops, this month has seen a mix of spotter planes, fighter jets, bombers, and helicopters.
On Aug. 12, three Y-8s of different variants were tracked in the ADIZ along with four Shenyang J-16 fighters. On Aug. 17, two Y-8s and a KJ-500 airborne early warning and control plane were seen in the zone along with six J-16s and two H-6 bombers.
On Aug. 26, in addition to a Y-8 anti-submarine warfare plane, a Harbin Z-9 anti-submarine warfare helicopter was tracked in the ADIZ. The following day, two Harbin Z-8 transport helicopters were tracked there, along with a Y-8 anti-submarine plane.
Since September of last year, Beijing has stepped up its 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 airspace 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 14 times in July, 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 there 19 times in December, 22 times in November, and 22 times in October.
Flight path of Chinese plane on Aug. 29. (MND image)