TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — 11 Chinese military aircraft entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Thursday (March 31), marking the 17th day of intrusions this month.
Two People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Xian H-6 bombers were tracked south of Taiwan, entering the southwest and southeast corners of the ADIZ, according to the Ministry of National Defense (MND). One Shaanxi KJ-500 airborne early warning and control aircraft, four Chengdu J-10 combat planes, and four Shenyang J-16 fighters also flew into the southwest corner of the ADIZ.
In response, Taiwan sent aircraft, issued radio warnings, and deployed air defense missile systems to monitor the planes.
An ADIZ is an area that extends beyond a country’s airspace where air traffic controllers ask incoming aircraft to identify themselves.
So far this month, 62 Chinese military aircraft have been tracked in Taiwan’s identification zone.
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, 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.”