18 Chinese military aircraft enter Taiwan’s air defence zone

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On Friday eighteen Chinese military aircraft entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ), marking the second largest incursion into Taiwan’s air defence zone.

According to the reports, The People’s Liberation Army “continuously harassed Taiwan’s airspace.” The Taiwan Air Force announced that 18 PLA military planes, including two flights, “harassed” Taiwan’s southwest airspace today. From the southwest area of Taiwan’s Eastern airspace, six J-11 fighter jet, two Y-8 long-range electronic warfare, six J-16 fighter jet, KJ-500 airborne early warning and control aircraft, Ka-28 anti-submarine warfare helicopter and two H-6 bomber flights incursion into Taiwan airspace.

In response, Taiwan sent aircraft, issued radio warnings, and deployed air defense missile systems to track the PLAAF aircraft. An ADIZ is an area that extends beyond a country’s airspace where air traffic controllers ask incoming aircraft to identify themselves.

Chinese KJ-500 AEW&C aircraft
Chinese KJ-500 AEW&C aircraft

At 6:30 p.m. Taiwan’s “Air Force Command” posted a “Real-time Military Situation Update” on the defense department’s official website.  From the airspace northeast of Dongsha Island, the fighter planes entered Taiwan’s “air defense identification zone” and “harassed” the area southwest of Taiwan. They flew away on a similar path after a short distance.

Chinese Y-8 ASW plane.
Chinese Y-8 ASW plane.

Taiwan, which is claimed by China as its own territory, has complained of repeated such missions by Chinese aircraft, which have become a common occurrence over the past two years or so.

Since September 2020, China has increased its use of gray zone tactics by routinely sending aircraft into Taiwan’s ADIZ, with most occurrences taking place in the southwest corner. In 2021, Chinese military planes entered Taiwan’s ADIZ on 961 instances over 239 days, according to the MND.

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