TAIPEI (Taiwan News) —The Ministry of National Defense (MND) tracked nine Chinese military aircraft and four naval vessels around Taiwan between 6 a.m. on Thursday (March 2) and 6 a.m. on Friday (March 3).
Of the nine People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft, four were tracked in the southwest corner of Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ), according to the MND. Three Shenyang J-16 fighter jets entered the southwest sector from the south, while one Shaanxi Y-8 reconnaissance plane flew in from the west.
No PLA aircraft crossed the Taiwan Strait median line during this time. In response, Taiwan sent aircraft, naval ships, and used land-based missiles to monitor the PLA aircraft and vessels.
So far this month, Beijing has sent 63 military aircraft and 11 naval vessels around Taiwan. Since September 2020, China has increased its use of gray zone tactics by routinely sending aircraft into Taiwan’s ADIZ.
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 resorting to direct and sizable use of force.”
Flight paths of four out of nine PLA aircraft. (MND image)