11 PLA warplanes enter Taiwan's ADIZ: Defense Ministry

04/09/2021 09:56 PM
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A PLA Y-8 plane. photo courtesy of the Ministry of National Defense
A PLA Y-8 plane. photo courtesy of the Ministry of National Defense

Taipei, April 9 (CNA) Chinese military aircraft entered Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Friday for a seventh consecutive day, a continuation of maneuvers that Taiwan sees as provocations.

The mission involved 11 People's Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft, consisting of four J-10 multirole fighters, four J-16 multirole fighters, one KJ-500 airborne early warning and control plane, one Y-8 electronic warfare aircraft, and one Y-8 anti-submarine warfare plane, according to a Ministry of National Defense (MND) report.

The warplanes flew into the southwestern part of Taiwan's ADIZ, the MND's real-time report of air activity in the ADIZ of the Republic of China (Taiwan) said.

The 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 number of Chinese warplanes flying into Taiwan's ADIZ has increased in the past few days after China's Liaoning aircraft carrier group sailed southwards. It was reported to have engaged in routine exercises in waters close to Taiwan.

Such incursions have happened every day so far in April except for the first two days of the month, with a total of 44 flyovers reported, according to MND data.

The biggest incursion since the MND began publicizing air activity in Taiwan's ADIZ on Sept. 17, 2020, came on March 26, when 20 military aircraft flew into Taiwan's ADIZ.

It occurred after Taiwan 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 Chung Yu-chen and Elizabeth Hsu)

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