China’s PLA Air Force’s (PLAAF) latest flights into the Taiwanese Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) have gained people’s attention. The arcane ADIZ term denotes a block of airspace established over, and usually somewhat beyond, a nation’s territory in which any unknown approaching aircraft is sought to be identified. Not to be outdone by this growing media attention, the US State Department has declared it is also “very concerned” as this “provocative military activity near Taiwan … is destabilising, risks miscalculations, and undermines regional peace and stability”.

Most helpfully, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense is maximising the media value of all this good geostrategic grist for the mill by regularly publishing summaries of the what, where and when of PLAAF incursions into its ADIZ. These reports give some interesting insights into Chinese air capabilities, operations and tactical procedures.

Just to reassure, the PLAAF’s air operations are in international airspace. Taiwan’s ADIZ is particularly expansive in covering a fair slice of both mainland China and its coastal areas, ensuring continual incursions as China’s military and civil aircraft come and go.

Please click here to read the full “Chinese warplanes overhead Taiwan (or maybe not)” article published at The Interpreter, written by Griffith Asia Institute Visiting Fellow, Dr Peter Layton.