PLA warplanes enter Taiwan's ADIZ for fifth consecutive day in April

04/07/2021 09:00 PM
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A PLA KJ-500 airborne early warning and control plane. Photo courtesy of the Ministry of National Defense
A PLA KJ-500 airborne early warning and control plane. Photo courtesy of the Ministry of National Defense

Taipei, April 7 (CNA) A total of 15 Chinese military aircraft, including 12 fighter jets, entered Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Wednesday, the fifth consecutive day on which such intrusions have occurred in April.

The People's Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft involved were four J-16 multirole fighters, eight J-10 multirole fighters, one Y-8 anti-submarine warfare plane and two KJ-500 airborne early warning and control planes, according to a Ministry of National Defense (MND) report.

The Y-8 flew all the way into Taiwan's southeast ADIZ, while the others entered only the airspace southwest of the country, between Taiwan and the Taiwan-controlled Dongsha Islands, an MND chart showed.

The nation's Air Force responded by scrambling planes to monitor the Chinese aircraft, issuing radio warnings and mobilizing air defense systems until the aircraft left the area, the MND said.

An ADIZ is declared by a country to allow it to identify, locate and control approaching foreign aircraft, although such zones are not recognized under international law.

The latest incident marks the fifth consecutive day since April 3 that such intrusions have occurred.

Wednesday's show of force was also the fourth largest in terms of the number of planes deployed since the MND began to make public PLA aircraft movements near Taiwan in mid-September 2020.

The largest incursion in terms of number of PLA planes was reported on March, 26 when 20 military aircraft flew into Taiwan's ADIZ after the nation and the United States signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a Coast Guard Working Group in Washington D.C. earlier the same day.

Some military analysts in Taiwan believe that such flyovers may be part of a strategy by Beijing to convey the message that the airspace is in China's backyard and it will continue to use it at will, ignoring Taiwan's self-declared ADIZ.

(By Joseph Yeh and Chung Yu-chen)

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