The Taiwan News reported that eight Chinese military planes entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Sunday (Oct. 31) during the day, marking the 20th intrusion that month. Six People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Shenyang J-16 fighter jets and one KJ-500 airborne early warning and control aircraft entered the southwestern corner of Taiwan’s ADIZ, according to the Ministry of National Defense (MND). Meanwhile, a Shaanxi Y-8 anti-submarine warfare plane flew into the southwest and southeast corners of the zone. In response, Taiwan sent interceptor aircraft, issued radio warnings, and deployed air defense missile systems to monitor the PLA planes.
Since September of last year, China has increased its use of gray zone tactics by routinely sending aircraft into the ADIZ, with most occurrences taking place in the southwest corner of the zone. Chinese aircraft were tracked in Taiwan’s ADIZ 20 times in October, 27 times in September, 14 times in August, 14 times in July, 10 times in June, 18 times in May, 22 times in April, 18 times in March, 17 times in February, and 27 times in January. Last year, they were observed 19 times in December, 22 times in November, and 22 times in October. China has increased its use of gray zone tactics by routinely sending aircraft into the ADIZ, with most occurrences taking place in the southwest corner of the zone.
An air defense identification zone (ADIZ) is airspace over land or water in which the identification, location, and control of civil aircraft is performed in the interest of national security. The first ADIZ was established by the United States on December 27, 1950, shortly after President Truman had proclaimed a national emergency during the Korean War. About 20 countries and regions now have such zones including Canada, India, Japan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Finland, Norway, the United Kingdom, People’s Republic of China, South Korea, Taiwan, United States, Sweden, Iceland and Iran. Russia and North Korea have unofficial ADIZs as well.
Taiwan has an ADIZ that covers most of the Taiwan Strait, part of the Chinese province of Fujian, Zhejiang, and Jiangxi and part of the East China Sea and adjacent airspace. Taiwan’s ADIZ was designed and created by the United States Armed Forces (USAF) after World War II. The ADIZ is also the basis of Taipei Flight Information Region. Although the ADIZ technically covers parts of China’s Fujian and Zhejiang provinces in its northwestern part, PLA flights in these areas are not reported as incursions. The concept of an ADIZ is not defined in any international treaty and is not regulated by any international body. Around 9% of Taiwan’s national defence budget reportedly goes into response to Chinese sorties.