TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Ministry of National Defense (MND) tracked 103 Chinese military aircraft and nine naval vessels around Taiwan between 6 a.m. on Sunday (Sept. 17) and 6 a.m. on Monday (Sept. 18).
Of the 103 People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft, 40 were tracked in Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ), according to the MND. Twelve Chengdu J-10 fighter jets, 10 Sukhoi Su-30 combat jets, 10 Shenyang J-16 jet fighters, four Shenyang J-11 fighter planes, two Xian Y-20 aerial tankers, and two KJ-500 airborne early warning and control aircraft either crossed the Taiwan Strait median line or entered the southwest and southern sectors of Taiwan’s ADIZ.
In response, Taiwan sent aircraft, naval ships, and used land-based missile systems to monitor PLA activity.
So far this month, Beijing has sent 310 military aircraft and 124 naval ship sorties around Taiwan. Since September 2020, China has increased its use of gray zone tactics by incrementally increasing the number of military aircraft and naval ships operating around Taiwan.
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 40 out of 103 PLA aircraft. (MND image)