The Chinese warplane entered Taiwan’s air defence identification zone (ADIZ) for the second time this month amid escalating tensions in the Taiwan Strait. An anti-submarine warfare plane of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) entered Taiwan’s ADIZ on Saturday, Taiwan News reported. The PLAAF was tracked by Taiwanese aircraft, air defence missiles, and radio warnings.
Beijing claims full sovereignty over Taiwan, a democracy with almost 24 million people located off the southeast coast of mainland China, even though the two sides have been governed separately for more than seven decades. Chinese planes have been tracked in Taiwan’s identification zone twice so far this month, both times by slow-flying turboprops.
Air traffic controllers are required to request incoming aircraft to identify themselves in an ADIZ that extends beyond a country’s airspace. Taiwan News defined gray zone tactics as ‘efforts or series of efforts beyond steady-state deterrence and assurance’ that attempt to achieve security goals without resorting to direct and substantial force. According to the report, Chinese aircraft were tracked in Taiwan’s identification zone 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.
China’s air force has carried out missions near Taiwan in recent months, mostly in the southwestern part of its air defence zone near Taiwan’s Pratas Islands. Taiwan complained about repeated missions in December, November and October of last year.