TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A pair of Chinese fighter jets entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Tuesday afternoon (Sept. 14), marking the 13th intrusion this month.
Two People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) J-16 fighters flew into the southwestern edge of Taiwan’s ADIZ, according to the Ministry of National Defense (MND). The J-16 is a tandem-seat, twinjet, multirole strike fighter made by Shenyang Aircraft Corporation.
In response, Taiwan sent aircraft, issued radio warnings, and deployed air defense missile systems to monitor the PLAAF planes.
Yesterday’s incursion marks the 12th consecutive day Chinese planes have flown into Taiwan’s identification zone. Beijing has sent a mix of spotter planes, fighter jets, and bombers into the zone every day this month except for Sept. 2.
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.
Flight path of Chinese planes on Sept. 14. (MND image)