TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Twenty-nine Chinese military aircraft flew into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Tuesday (June 21), marking the 10th day of intrusions this month.
Eight People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Shenyang J-16 fighter jets, five Shenyang J-11 fighter planes, four Sukhoi Su-30 jet fighters, two KJ-500 airborne early warning and control planes, one Shaanxi Y-8 anti-submarine warfare plane, and one Xian Y-20 aerial refueling aircraft were tracked in the southwest corner of Taiwan’s ADIZ, according to the Ministry of National Defense (MND).
Meanwhile, six Xian H-6 bombers, one Shaanxi Y-9 electronic warfare plane, and one Shaanxi Y-8 electronic intelligence plane flew along the southwest and southeast corners of Taiwan’s identification zone.
In response, Taiwan sent aircraft, issued radio warnings, and deployed air defense missile systems to monitor the PLAAF planes.
So far this month, China has sent 51 aircraft into Taiwan’s ADIZ, including 32 fighter jets, seven bombers, one refueling plane, and 11 spotter planes. Tuesday’s 29 planes mark the third-highest single-day total this year, following 39 planes on Jan. 23 and 30 Chinese aircraft on May 30.
An ADIZ is an area that extends beyond a country’s airspace where air traffic controllers ask incoming aircraft to identify themselves.
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.”
Flight paths of Chinese planes on June 21. (MND image)