A Chinese military plane flew into Taiwan’s air defence identification zone on Sunday.
A single People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Shaanxi Y-8 electronic warfare plane entered the southwest corner of the ADIZ, according to the Ministry of National Defense (MND).
In response, Taiwan sent aircraft, issued radio warnings, and deployed air defense missile systems to track the PLAAF planes, Taiwan News reported.
A total of 60 Chinese planes have been tracked in Taiwan’s ADIZ so far this month, including 36 fighter jets, two bombers, and 22 spotter planes. Chinese military aircraft have been monitored in the identification zone every day this month except for on Dec. 5, 12, and 17.
China has been regularly sending warplanes into Taiwan’s air defence zone.
Taiwan’s defence ministry has been publishing information about such flights since September 17 last year, amid a growing incidence of intrusions into its ADIZ by Chinese military planes.
Air defence identification zones are early warning systems that help countries detect incursions into their airspace.
Any aircraft entering such an area is supposed to report its route and purpose to the “host” nation, though the zones are classified as international airspace and pilots are not legally bound to make such a notification.
Since mid-September of last year, Beijing has stepped up its grey-zone tactics by regularly sending planes into Taiwan’s ADIZ, with most instances occurring in the southwest corner of the zone and usually consisting of one to three slow-flying turboprop planes.
Beijing claims full sovereignty over Taiwan, a democracy of almost 24 million people located off the southeastern coast of mainland China, despite the fact that the two sides have been governed separately for more than seven decades.
Taipei, on the other hand, has countered the Chinese aggression by increasing strategic ties with democracies including the US, which has been repeatedly opposed by Beijing. China has threatened that “Taiwan’s independence” means war.