Taiwan tracks 38 Chinese military aircraft, 9 naval ships around nation


The Ministry of National Defense (MND) tracked 38 Chinese military aircraft and nine naval vessels around Taiwan between 6 a.m. on Tuesday (July 11) and 6 a.m. on Wednesday (July 12).


Of the 38 People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft, 32 were tracked in Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ), according to the MND. One BZK-005 reconnaissance drone crossed the Taiwan Strait median line, while six Sukhoi Su-30 combat jets either crossed the median line or entered the southwest corner of the ADIZ.


Ten Chengdu J-10 jet fighters, six Shenyang J-16 fighter jets, and one KJ-500 airborne early warning and control plane were monitored in the southwest sector of the ADIZ as well. Meanwhile, four Xian H-6 bombers, two Shaanxi Y-8 anti-submarine warfare planes, and one Shaanxi Y-8 electronic warfare plane flew along the southern sector of the identification zone.


Additionally, one Harbin Z-9 anti-submarine warfare helicopter was followed in the southeast corner of Taiwan’s ADIZ.


In response, Taiwan sent aircraft and naval ships and used land-based missile systems to monitor PLA activity.


So far this month, Beijing has sent 161 military aircraft and 60 naval ships around Taiwan. 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.”


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