TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Eight Chinese military planes entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Sunday (Oct. 31) during the day, marking the 20th intrusion that month.
Six People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Shenyang J-16 fighter jets and one KJ-500 airborne early warning and control aircraft entered the southwestern corner of Taiwan’s ADIZ, according to the Ministry of National Defense (MND). Meanwhile, a Shaanxi Y-8 anti-submarine warfare plane flew into the southwest and southeast corners of the zone.
In response, Taiwan sent interceptor aircraft, issued radio warnings, and deployed air defense missile systems to monitor the PLA planes.
China has sent 707 military planes into Taiwan’s identification zone so far this year as of Oct. 31, in order to improve surveillance, coordinate maneuvers between the PLA Navy and Air Force, and wear down Taiwan’s air defenses.
Since September of last year, China has increased its use of gray zone tactics by routinely sending aircraft into the 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 20 times in October, 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.
KJ-500 AEW&C plane. (MND photo)
Chinese Y-8 ASW. (MND photo)
Flight paths of Chinese planes on Oct. 31. (MND image)