The Taiwanese Ministry of Defense has just announced that 71 People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft had entered the Taiwanese Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), of which 47 of the detected aircraft (J-11*12, SU-30*6, CH-4 UCAV RECCE*1, J-10*6, J-16*18, Y-8 EW*1, Y-8 ASW*1, KJ-500*1, WZ-7 UAV RECCE*1) had crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait. This is the largest single incursion since August 5th when more than 68 aircraft responded to the visit of U.S. House Speaker Pelosi.
While this event most likely does not indicate an operation against Taiwan from China, keeping track of significant events does help to gauge what a strike would look like. These daily incursions are part of a campaign to degrade Taiwanese readiness and monitor the effectiveness of their air defense system by Chinese planners.
This comes only 14 hours after the People’s Liberation Army made this statement concerning drills around Taiwan:
“Shi Yi Army Senior Colonel said that on December 25, The Eastern Theater Command of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army is located in the sea and airspace around Taiwan Island and organizes joint combat readiness and police patrols and joint firepower strike drills of all services and arms. This is a firm response to the current US-Taiwan escalation and provocation. The theater troops will take all necessary measures to resolutely defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Merry Christmas from Tessaron!