TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Twenty-two Chinese military aircraft flew into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Thursday (June 23), marking the 12th day of intrusions this month.
Ten People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Shenyang J-16 fighter jets, five Xian JH-7 fighter bombers, two Xian H-6 bombers, two KJ-500 airborne early warning and control aircraft, and one Shaanxi Y-8 electronic warfare plane were tracked in the southwest corner of Taiwan’s ADIZ, according to the Ministry of National Defense (MND). Meanwhile, two Shaanxi Y-8 anti-submarine warfare planes flew along the southern portion of Taiwan’s identification zone.
In response, Taiwan sent aircraft, broadcast 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.
So far this month, China has sent 79 military aircraft into Taiwan’s ADIZ, including 46 fighter jets, nine bombers, five fighter bombers, one refueling plane, and 18 spotter planes. Thursday’s intrusion was the fourth-largest single-day incursion this year, following 39 aircraft on Jan. 23, 30 planes on May 30, and 29 airplanes on June 21.
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 23. (MND image)