TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Chinese military plane entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Saturday (Oct. 16), marking the seventh intrusion this month.
One People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Shaanxi Y-8 anti-submarine warfare plane flew into 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.
On Oct. 1, Beijing sent 38 military planes into Taiwan’s identification zone, followed by 39 aircraft the next day, and 16 airplanes on Oct. 3. On Oct. 4, the Chinese sent 56 warplanes into Taiwan’s ADIZ, a single-day record since the MND began publicly reporting incursions in September 2020.
Since September last year, China has increased its use of gray zone tactics by routinely sending aircraft into Taiwan’s ADIZ, with most occurrences taking place in the southwest corner.
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 27 times in September, 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 Y-8 ASW on Oct. 16. (MND image)