TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan is anticipating more intrusions by Chinese warplanes into its air defense identification zone (ADIZ) in 2022, based on the pattern of ramped-up sorties over the past few years and impending key political events.
According to data from the Ministry of National Defense, since January of this year, there have been approximately 950 intrusions by People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) military planes into the ADIZ. This is a 150% increase over the 380 sorties recorded in 2020.
The number of flights is expected to increase further as tensions rise over major political events on two sides of the Taiwan Strait in 2022. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) will hold its 20th national congress, which is expected to pave the way for CCP General Secretary Xi Jinping (習近平) to have a third term.
In Taiwan, President Tsai Ing-wen's (蔡英文) Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) will face a challenge in the local elections and nine-in-one elections. Political events in the two countries will likely motivate Xi and Tsai to give the appearance of strength when it comes to military encounters in the Taiwan Strait, further ratcheting tensions and likely PLAAF flights.
Kuo Yu-jen (郭育仁), director of the Institute for National Policy Research, was cited by Bloomberg as warning that “China will send more military airplanes into Taiwan’s ADIZ next year with more intimidating operations." Kuo stressed that the situation in the ADIZ will need to be closely monitored because it will be a "turning point."