Taiwan tracks 24 Chinese military aircraft, 4 naval ships around country

China's Shenyang J-16 fighter jet.

The Ministry of National Defense (MND) tracked 24 Chinese military aircraft and four naval ships around Taiwan from 6 a.m. on Thursday (Dec. 8) to 6 a.m. Friday (Dec. 9).

Of the 24 People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft, 16 were tracked in Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ), according to the MND. Two Shenyang J-11 fighter jets and one BZK-005 reconnaissance drone crossed the Taiwan Strait median line in the northeast sector of the ADIZ.

Meanwhile, one Shaanxi Y-8 anti-submarine warfare plane, one Shaanxi Y-8 electronic warfare plane, one BZK-007 reconnaissance drone, two Chengdu J-10 fighter jets, one KJ-500 early airborne early warning and control plane, and five Shenyang J-16 jet fighters were tracked in the southwest corner of Taiwan’s identification zone. Two Xian H-6 bombers were monitored flying along the southern sector of the ADIZ as well.

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

So far this month, Beijing has sent 159 military aircraft and 35 naval ships around Taiwan. Since September 2020, China has increased its use of gray zone tactics by routinely sending aircraft into Taiwan’s ADIZ.

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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