TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's defense ministry tracked four Chinese military aircraft and one naval vessel around the country between 6 a.m. on Friday (Oct. 6) and 6 a.m. on Saturday (Oct. 7) after Typhoon Koinu left a trail of destruction.
The Ministry of National Defense (MND) said four People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) military aircraft and one People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) vessel were detected. It said the illustration of the flight paths was not provided as there was no trace of PLAAF aircraft crossing the median line of the Taiwan Strait or entering the southwestern sector of Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ).
The defense ministry added it monitored the situation with its intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance system. In response, it scrambled combat patrol aircraft, dispatched naval vessels, and deployed land-based air defense missile systems.
Meanwhile, the country's Air Rescue Group flew a UH-60 Black Hawk to Orchid Island after the typhoon swept southern Taiwan. It took Taipower engineers "to restore local infrastructure."
"There's more than one way to protect the lives of our citizens, and we gladly put our capacity to good use," the defense ministry said.
Since September 2020, Beijing has increasingly employed the use of "gray zone tactics" in the form of deployments of military aircraft and naval vessels over the median line and inside Taiwan's ADIZ. According to CSIS, gray zone tactics are “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."