TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Two Chinese military planes entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Wednesday (Feb. 23), marking the 12th intrusion this month.
Two People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Shenyang J-16 fighter jets flew into the southwest corner of Taiwan’s ADIZ, according to the Ministry of National Defense (MND). In response, Taiwan sent aircraft, issued radio warnings, and deployed air defense missile systems to monitor PLAAF planes.
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 a total of 40 military aircraft into Taiwan’s identification zone so far this month, including 22 fighter jets, 17 spotter planes, and one helicopter.
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, China military planes entered Taiwan’s 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.”
Flight paths of Chinese planes on Feb. 23. (MND image)