Taipei [Taiwan], March 19 (ANI): At least 26 Chinese military aircraft and four naval vessels were tracked by the Ministry of National Defence (MND), Taiwan between Friday and Saturday, Taiwan News reported today.
According to the MND, 15 of the 26 People's Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft were observed in Taiwan's Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ). Four Chengdu J-10 fighters, four Shenyang J-16 fighters, one CH-4 reconnaissance drone, and one Harbin BZK-005 reconnaissance drone crossed the Taiwan Strait median line. Another reconnaissance drone from Harbin flew along the southern edge of Taiwan's ADIZ.
The southwest corner of the ADIZ saw the tracking of two Shenyang J-16 fighter jets, one Shaanxi Y-8 anti-submarine warfare aircraft, and one BZK-007 reconnaissance drone. A Harbin Z-9 anti-submarine helicopter also appeared in Taiwan's identification zone's southeast portion, Taiwan News reported.
Taiwan retaliated by sending aircraft, naval boats, and land-based missiles to monitor the PLA aircraft and ships.
Beijing has sent Taiwan with 67 naval vessels and 266 military aircraft so far this month. China has intensified its use of grey zone strategies since September 2020 by routinely dispatching aircraft inside Taiwan's ADIZ.
Grey zone tactics are defined as "an effort or sequence of efforts beyond steady-state deterrence and assurance that aims to achieve one's security objectives without resorting to direct and substantial use of force," reported Taiwan News.
Chinese military ships, fishing vessels and sand dredgers regularly cross into Taiwan's waters using what military analysts describe as grey-zone tactics -- part intimidation campaign, part resource extraction -- intended to keep Taiwan's people and government on alert.
The Chinese Communist Party government shelled Matsu for decades after the nationalist Kuomintang (KMT) government retreated to Taiwan in defeat in 1949, and gained control of some of the outlying islands that are much closer to China than Taiwan.
Notably, Japan controls the islands, whereas China continues to claim them.
According to history and international law, the islands are inextricably linked to Japan's territory, the Japanese government claims. (ANI)