TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Five Chinese military planes entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Wednesday (Jan. 19), marking the 16th intrusion this month.
Four People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Shenyang J-16 fighter jets and one Shaanxi Y-8 anti-submarine warfare plane entered the southwest corner of the 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 planes.
China has sent its aircraft into Taiwan’s identification zone every day this month except for on Jan. 3, 9, and 16. A total of 68 Chinese planes have been spotted there so far in January, including 45 fighter jets and 23 spotter planes.
Since September 2020, China has increased gray zone tactics by routinely sending aircraft into Taiwan’s ADIZ, with most occurrences taking place in the southwest corner. In 2021, Chinese military planes entered Taiwan’s ADIZ 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 J-16 fighter plane. (MND photo)
Flight paths of Chinese planes on Jan. 19. (MND image)