TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Incursions by Chinese military aircraft into Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ) in February increased by over 61% from a year earlier, consistent with a long-term trend line of increasing intrusions.
In February, 113 Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) military planes breached Taiwan's ADIZ. That represents a 61.42% increase over the 70 reported by the Ministry of National Defense (MND) in February 2022 and a 182.5% increase from the 40 recorded in February 2021.
On Wednesday (March 1), open-source intelligence expert Damien Symon uploaded a map to his Twitter account showing the location of all 113 intrusions by PLAAF aircraft into Taiwan's ADIZ. The majority of encroachments occurred in the southwest corner of the zone.
There was also a cluster of flights that took place off the northwest coast of Taiwan that crossed the median line. There were a few longer-range flights that covered large swathes of the southeast corner of the ADIZ.
The only sector that did not report trespassing by PLAAF aircraft was the eastern portion of the ADIZ. The northeast corner of Taiwan's ADIZ directly borders Japan's southwest ADIZ, which has also been the scene of a large number of incursions by Chinese military aircraft.
For his January map, Symon included flights by Chinese military aircraft through the Miyako Strait in Japan's southwest ADIZ. The strait runs between Miyako Island and Okinawa.
Chinese military aircraft violations of both Taiwan and Japan ADIZs. (Twitter, Damien Symon image)
A chart created by Ben Lewis, an independent defense analyst, shows that the trend line for violation by Chinese military aircraft of Taiwan's ADIZ is steadily rising. The approximate total of PLAAF sorties into Taiwan's ADIZ from 2018 to 2023 has reached 3,341.
The most frequently spotted Chinese military aircraft over this period was the Shenyang J-16 jet fighter with 1,018 sightings. This was followed by the Shaanxi Y-8 anti-submarine warfare plane with 370 sightings, Shenyang J-11 fighter jet with 336, Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jet with 294, and Chengdu J-10 fighter jet at 275, rounding out the top five.
(Twitter, Ben Lewis image)
Symon has also created a map showing all ADIZ violations in 2022 which follows the same pattern, with the notable exception of closer flights that took place after former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan in August 2022. Lewis' chart also shows a dramatic spike of 446 PLAAF aircraft spotted in the August to September period.
Chinese military aircraft intrusions into Taiwan ADIZ in 2022. (Twitter, Damien Symon image)