Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense reported an incursion of nine Chinese aircraft in its air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on February 24, 2022.
The flight group was composed of one Shaanxi Y-8 reconnaissance aircraft and its escort of eight J-16 fighters.
The aircraft entered the ADIZ from its southwestern corner before turning back. Radio warnings were issued to the intruders, and air defense missile systems were deployed. Fighters of the Taiwanese Air Force (ROCAF) were scrambled to intercept.
The last sizeable incursion took place on February 10, 2022, when 11 Chinese aircraft entered the zone. Though these events occur almost daily, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen called for increased vigilance from the island’s military in the face of the current invasion of Ukraine by Russia.
“In the face of foreign forces intending to manipulate the situation in Ukraine and affect the morale of Taiwanese society, all government units must strengthen the prevention of cognitive warfare launched by foreign forces and local collaborators,” Tsai said in a meeting, as quoted by Reuters.
China does not recognize the sovereignty of Taiwan and thus considers the strait, which separates the island from the continent, part of its territorial waters.
Since 2020, Taiwan’s defense ministry reported an increase in Chinese military aircraft activity within its ADIZ. In 2020, the ministry reported that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) flew about 380 sorties into the country’s ADIZ, the highest number since 1996.