TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Three Chinese military aircraft flew into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Tuesday (May 31), marking the 22nd day of intrusions last month.
Two People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Shenyang J-16 fighter jets and one Shaanxi Y-8 electronic warfare plane 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 track the PLAAF planes.
An ADIZ is an area that extends beyond a country’s airspace where air traffic controllers ask incoming aircraft to identify themselves.
For the month of May, China sent 119 military aircraft into Taiwan’s identification zone, including 69 fighter jets, 31 spotter planes, 10 bombers, and nine helicopters.
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 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.”
Chinese Y-8 EW plane. (MND photo)
Flight paths of Chinese planes on May 31. (MND image)