TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — On Monday (Jan. 24), 13 Chinese military aircraft entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ), marking the 19th intrusion this month.
Two People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Shenyang electronic warfare J-16D fighter jets, eight Shenyang J-16 fighters, two Xian H-6 bombers, and one Shaanxi Y-8 anti-submarine warfare plane flew into the southwest corner of the ADIZ, according to the Ministry of National Defense (MND). This was the first time the J-16D — the electronic warfare variant of the J-16 — has been spotted in the zone.
In response, Taiwan sent aircraft, broadcast radio warnings, and deployed air defense missile systems to track the PLAAF planes. On Sunday (Jan. 23), 39 Chinese military planes entered the ADIZ, the largest incursion so far this year.
An ADIZ is an area that extends beyond a country’s airspace where air traffic controllers ask incoming aircraft to identify themselves.
China has sent planes into Taiwan’s identification zone every day this month except for on Jan. 3, 9, 16, 21, and 22. A total of 121 Chinese military planes have been monitored there so far in January, including 89 fighter jets, three bombers, and 29 spotter planes.
Since September 2020, 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. Last year, Chinese military planes entered the ADIZ on 961 instances over 239 days, according to the MND.
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 H-6 bomber. (MND photo)
Chinese J-16 fighter. (MND photo)
Chinese Y-8 ASW plane. (MND photo)
Flight paths of Chinese planes on Jan. 24. (MND image)