Taiwan Monitors Increased Chinese Military Activity in Its Airspace

The Ministry of National Defense (MND) in Taiwan has reported tracking 26 Chinese military aircraft and 10 naval ships around the nation between 6 a.m. on Wednesday, March 13, and 6 a.m. on Thursday, March 14. This significant military activity by the People's Liberation Army (PLA) of China included seven aircraft that crossed the Taiwan Strait median line.


The PLA aircraft were tracked in various parts of Taiwan's Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ). Ten were tracked in the southwest corner of Taiwan’s ADIZ, three in the northeast ADIZ, and one along the southern ADIZ. In response to this activity, Taiwan dispatched its own aircraft and naval ships and deployed air defense missile systems to monitor the PLA's movements.

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This is not an isolated incident. Since September 2020, China has been incrementally increasing the number of military aircraft and naval ships operating around Taiwan, a strategy known as the gray zone strategy. These tactics are defined as efforts beyond steady-state deterrence and assurance that attempt to achieve security objectives without resorting to direct and sizable use of force. In the month leading up to this incident, Taiwan tracked Chinese military aircraft 151 times and naval vessels 85 times. This increased activity is seen as a part of China's gray zone tactics, which aim to exert pressure on Taiwan without escalating to open conflict.


The Taiwanese government remains vigilant in the face of these tactics, maintaining a robust defense posture to ensure the security of its airspace and territorial waters. The continued tracking and monitoring of PLA activity around Taiwan are crucial components of this defense strategy.

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