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Taiwan tracks 5 Chinese military aircraft, 4 naval ships, 8 balloons

Nation responds by sending aircraft, ships, and deploying land-based air defense missile systems

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Chinese Y-8 ASW plane. (MND photo)

Chinese Y-8 ASW plane. (MND photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Ministry of National Defense (MND) tracked five Chinese military aircraft and four naval vessels around Taiwan between 6 a.m. on Friday (Feb. 9) and 6 a.m. on Saturday (Feb. 10).

Of the five People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft, two crossed the Taiwan Strait median line and entered the southwest corner of the country’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ), according to the MND. In response, Taiwan sent aircraft and naval ships and deployed land-based air defense missile systems to monitor the PLA activity.

The MND also tracked eight Chinese balloons on Friday at 7:09 a.m., 7:10 a.m., 7:41 a.m., 8 a.m., 10:09 a.m., 10:41 a.m., 10:55 a.m., and 6:22 p.m. They disappeared sequentially at 7:42 a.m., 7:47 a.m., 8:14 a.m., 9:52 a.m., 10:16 a.m., 12:32 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 7:41 p.m.

So far this month, Taiwan has tracked Chinese military aircraft 73 times and naval ships 43 times. 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 5 Chinese military aircraft, 4 naval ships, 8 balloons(MND image)