(breitbart) – Thirty Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) aircraft flew into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) Monday in the second-largest military aircraft incursion of the year, which included two Su-35 fighters for the first time in at least several years.
Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense said the aircraft consisted of eight Shenyang J-11 fighter jets, six Shenyang J-16 fighter jets, four Chengdu J-10 fighter jets, two Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets, two Sukhoi SU-30 fighter jets, one Shaanxi Y-8 anti-submarine warfare (Y-8 ASW) plane, one Shaanxi Y-8 electronic warfare plane (Y-8 EW), four Shaanxi Y-8 electronic intelligence spotter planes (Y-8 ELINT), and two KJ-500 airborne early warning and control aircraft (KJ-500 AEW&C), according to Taiwan News.
Bonnie Glaser, director of the Asia Program at the German Marshall Fund, tweeted that it was the first time that Su-35 aircraft had flown into Taiwan’s ADIZ.
However, a Taiwanese journalist tweeted that an Su-35 was believed to have last entered Taiwan’s ADIZ four years ago, in May 2018.
ADIZ is the airspace surrounding a country’s national airspace where an entering foreign aircraft may be required to identify themselves and communicate their flight plans or else trigger defense mechanisms by the inquiring country.
China has stepped up its incursions into Taiwan’s ADIZ over the last several years. Monday’s incursion was the second-largest single-day incursion by Chinese military aircraft into Taiwan’s ADIZ this year, according to Taiwan News.
On January 23, 39 PLAAF aircraft were detected in Taiwan’s ADIZ, which was the largest number of aircraft entering on a single day this year. The largest-ever incursion was 56 aircraft on October 4, 2021, according to the outlet.
Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense scrambled combat patrol aircraft and issued radio warnings and deployed air defense missile systems, according to its website.
China’s incursion came the same day Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) visited Taiwan in a surprise three-day visit that was surely to upset Beijing, which maintains that Taiwan is a part of its country and not a separate country. Meanwhile, Taiwan considers itself a separate country and has been self-ruled since 1949.