TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Four Chinese military planes entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Monday morning (Sept. 6), marking the fifth intrusion this month.
Two People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) SU-30 fighter jets and two J-16 fighters 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 planes.
Chinese military planes have been spotted in the zone on Sept. 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6. The aircraft this month have so far been a mix of spotter planes, bombers, and fighter planes.
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 August, 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 19 times in December, 22 times in November, and 22 times in October.
Chinese SU-30. (MND photo)
Flight paths of Chinese planes on Sept. 6 (MND image)