China sent 39 military aircraft into Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone Saturday, October 2, one more than the previous record set just one day earlier.
Ministry of National Defense officials said Saturday evening that the PLA Air Force had flown 20 sorties, including 14 J-16 fighters, 4 Sukai-30 fighters, and 2 Yun-8 anti-submarine aircraft into the southwest section of Taiwan’s ADIZ during the day. At midnight, the MND announced that a further 19 sorties had been flown after nightfall, including 12 J-16s, 6 Sukai-30, and one Air Police 500 early warning aircraft.
On the previous day, October 1, China had flown a record 38 sorties into Taiwan’s ADIZ in a move that was widely reported by international media outlets, and interpreted as a show of force on the communist state’s “National Day.”
However, breaking that record on the following day could be a signal that the People’s Republic of China is escalating its grey-zone warfare tactics against Taiwan.
In September 2020, Defence Minister Yen Te-fa told the legislature that Taiwan’s military had already spent NT$31.2 billion (US$1 billion) responding to air and sea incursions by the PLA – amounting to 8.7% of the total military budget for the year.
With numbers of incursions having escalated this year, the PLA breaking records may be an attempt to break Taiwan’s budget.
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