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Taiwan tracks 18 Chinese military aircraft, 6 naval ships

Taiwan also tracked 3 Chinese balloons on Wednesday

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China's J-16 fighter jet. (Ministry of National Defense photo)

China's J-16 fighter jet. (Ministry of National Defense photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Ministry of National Defense (MND) tracked 18 Chinese military aircraft and six naval vessels around Taiwan between 6 a.m. on Wednesday (Jan. 24) and 6 a.m. on Thursday (Jan. 25).

Of the 18 People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft, one fighter jet crossed the Taiwan Strait median line in the northeast sector of the country’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ), according to the MND. Meanwhile, three PLA aircraft entered the southwest corner of Taiwan’s ADIZ.

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

The MND also tracked three Chinese balloons on Wednesday. The first crossed the median line at 5:57 a.m. 133 km (72 NM) west of Keelung, the second at 3:11 p.m. 230 km (124 NM) west of Pingtung, and the third at 3:30 p.m. 244 km (132 NM) west of Pingtung. They traveled east and disappeared sequentially at 6:32 a.m., 3:57 p.m., and 4:14 p.m.

So far this month, Taiwan has tracked 223 Chinese military aircraft and 106 naval ships. 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 18 Chinese military aircraft, 6 naval ships(MND image)