Tensions continued rising in the Taiwan Strait over the Mid-Autumn Festival long weekend. People's Liberation Army aircraft again intruded upon Taiwan's air defense identification zone. The PLA has sent 51 aircraft into Taiwan's ADIZ in the past 16 days. An expert said the PLA is surveiling US military activity in the Bashi Channel and adopting new strategies.
On the 2nd, People's Liberation Army aircraft were again spotted in Taiwan's air defense identification zone along with a KJ-500 airborne early warning and control aircraft circling outside the zone. The previous day, the ROC Ministry of National Defense said eight PLA anti-submarine aircraft left from the Guangdong-Fujian area for Taiwan's ADIZ. The ROC military sent personnel to meet them and ordered them to leave. It also employed anti-aircraft missiles to follow them.
This is the Republic of China Air Force. The PLA military aircraft currently flying at 3,000 meters in Taiwan's southwestern air space: You have entered our ADIZ and are affecting aviation safety. Turn around and leave immediately.
Former ROC Air Force Deputy Commander Chang Ting-yen says the PLA had several goals: to provoke Taiwan, surveil US military activity in the South China Sea and Bashi Channel, and as a diversionary tactic to shift focus away from the northern end of Taiwan's ADIZ.
We have anti-aircraft missiles in the north but no military aircraft. This is a major strategic breach. Hsinchu Airport is at least a 10-minute flight from Taipei. Other airports are over 20 minutes away. If we are attacked by air, 20 minutes could make a huge difference.
PLA aircraft have intruded upon Taiwan's ADIZ 51 times in 16 days. This is up 20 percent from the same period last year. Chang says from a logistical standpoint, the Air Force should designate the southwestern area a "training air space" to reduce aircraft damage and familiarize personnel with a combat environment.
We have to be used to making training runs in the southwestern area and, make it a "traditional" training area. Once it is, we will be able to have the flying techniques we need, make our presence felt, and gather intelligence.
Chang also says the ROC has a strategic advantage in the southwestern area and the Air Force needs to take advantage of this. After a troop inspection, National Defense Minister Yen De-fa said the military needs to be prepared for all eventualities and communication between the different branches is key. Chief of the General Staff Huang Shu-kuang, meanwhile, called for improved combat and battlefield operation training.