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Ukraine conflict: China deploys aircraft in Taiwan's ADIZ but no increase in activity following start of Ukraine conflict

The Chinese People‘s Liberation Army Air Force has made regular sorties into Taiwan's claimed airspace in recent months, deploying aircraft including Shenyang J-11 fighters. (Japanese MoD)

China has continued military aircraft deployments in Taiwan's air defence identification zone (ADIZ), the Ministry of National Defense (MND) has said, and Russia's invasion of Ukraine has not yet coincided with an increase in such sorties.

According to the MND, nine Chinese People‘s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) aircraft entered its ADIZ on 24 February although one day earlier the number was two. The MND said these PLAAF aircraft comprised 10 Shenyang J-16 fighter aircraft and one Shaanxi Y-8 surveillance aircraft.

The MND added that the PLAAF aircraft entered the southwestern part of its ADIZ, close to Dongsha (also called Pratas) Island, which is administered by Taiwan. This position has often been cited by the MND as the location of increasingly regular ADIZ incursions.

In response to these PLAAF deployments, the MND said it scrambled the Republic of China Air Force‘s (RoCAF‘s) combat air patrol and deployed “air-defence missile systems” for monitoring purposes.

The 11 PLAAF aircraft that entered Taiwan's ADIZ took the number of Chinese military aircraft to enter the zone during February to 46 aircraft on 12 separate days.

The figures reflect the increasing regularity with which the PLAAF is deploying its aircraft in Taiwan's ADIZ, but they do not indicate an increase in such activity. In January 2022 and in late 2021 aircraft incursions occurred at a higher rate.

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