TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Eight Chinese military aircraft entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Saturday (Feb. 26), marking the 15th intrusion this month.
Four People’s Liberation Army Air Force Shenyang J-11 fighter jets, two Shenyang J-16 fighters, and two Shaanxi Y-8 anti-submarine warfare aircraft flew into 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 assets to track them.
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 61 military aircraft into Taiwan’s identification zone so far this month, including 40 fighter jets, 20 spotter planes, and one helicopter.
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. In 2021, 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 J-16 fighter jet. (MND photo)
Chinese Y-8 ASW plane. (MND photo)
Flight paths of Chinese planes on Feb. 26. (MND image)