TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The year 2021 ended as it began, with China sending military aircraft into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ), causing the Air Force to cancel the participation of its jet fighters in New Year’s Day events, reports said Friday (Dec. 31).
Two Shenyang J-16 fighter jets and one Shaanxi Y-8 RECCE tactical reconnaissance aircraft entered the southwest sector of the ADIZ, according to the Ministry of National Defense. The military tasked aircraft, issued radio warnings, and deployed air defense missile systems to monitor the Chinese planes, CNA reported.
The military recorded more than 940 similar incursions during the year, most of them in the same area between Taiwan’s main island and the Taiwan-held disputed South China Sea islands of Dongsha and Taiping.
On past occasions, local governments would ask the Air Force to send jets to fly over at sunrise on New Year’s Day. This year, only the Hualien County Government had filed such a request, but because of the Chinese incursions and because the Hualien Air Force Base was too busy with upgrading its F-16 jets, no flyover would be possible Saturday (Jan. 1) morning, CNA reported.