TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Two Chinese military aircraft entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Tuesday (Jan. 18), marking the 15th intrusion this month.
A People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Shaanxi Y-8 electronic warfare plane flew into the southwest corner of the ADIZ from the west, while a Shaanxi Y-8 electronic intelligence plane entered approaching from the south, according to the Ministry of National Defense (MND).
In response, Taiwan sent aircraft, issued radio warnings, and deployed air defense missile systems to monitor the PLAAF planes.
China has sent planes into Taiwan’s identification zone every day this month except for on Jan. 3, 9, and 16. A total of 63 Chinese military aircraft have been tracked so far in January, including 41 fighter jets and 22 spotter planes.
Since September 2020, 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. In 2021, China military planes entered on 961 instances over 239 days, according to the MND.
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.”
Chinese Y-8 ELINT plane. (MND photo)
Flight paths of Chinese planes on Jan. 18. (MND image)