TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Three Chinese military aircraft were spotted in Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Thursday (July 28), marking the 20th day of intrusions this month.
Two People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Xian JH-7 fighter bombers entered the southwest corner of Taiwan’s ADIZ, according to the Ministry of National Defense (MND). Meanwhile, one Shaanxi Y-8 reconnaissance plane flew into both the southwest and southeast corners of the zone.
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.
So far this month, China has sent 68 military aircraft into Taiwan’s identification zone, including 28 fighter jets, eight fighter bombers, one bomber, two helicopters, and 29 spotter planes.
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 RECCE plane. (MND photo)
Flight paths of Chinese planes on July 28. (MND image)