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Taiwan tracks 26 Chinese military aircraft, 10 naval ships around nation

Taiwan sent aircraft, naval ships, and used land-based missiles to monitor PLA activity

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Chinese J-10 fighter jet. (MND photo)

Chinese J-10 fighter jet. (MND photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Ministry of National Defense (MND) tracked 26 Chinese military aircraft and 10 naval vessels around Taiwan between 6 a.m. on Thursday (Dec. 7) and 6 a.m. on Friday (Dec. 8).

Of the 26 People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft, 13 crossed the Taiwan Strait median line, including eight Chengdu J-10 fighter jets, four Sukhoi Su-30 combat jets, and one BZK-005 reconnaissance drone, according to the MND. One Shaanxi Y-9 aircraft and one KJ-500 airborne early warning and control plane entered the southwest corner of Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ).

Meanwhile, one PLA balloon also crossed the median line at 11:52 a.m. on Thursday, around 187 km (101 nautical miles) southwest of Keelung at an altitude of approximately 6,400 m (21,000 ft), the MND added. The balloon was heading east and "disappeared" at 12:55 p.m. on Thursday.

In response, Taiwan sent aircraft and naval ships and deployed air defense missile systems to monitor PLA activity.

So far this month, Beijing has sent 57 military aircraft and 43 naval ships 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.”
Taiwan tracks 26 Chinese military aircraft, 10 naval ships around nationFlight paths of 15 out of 26 PLA aircraft and one balloon. (MND image)