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ADIZ Report - February 2024

February saw increased PLA activity around Taiwan relative to January and December, but overall activity levels remain low.



Graphic showing the aggregated locations of PLA aircraft sorties into Taiwan's de facto ADIZ, and Chinese balloon flight paths in February 2024 - Courtesy of Damien Symon


Key Headlines in February 2024


PLA Activity Inside Taiwan's de facto ADIZ


Total number of de facto ADIZ violations by PLA aircraft per month

86 PLA aircraft violated Taiwan's de facto ADIZ this month, the highest one-month total since November 2023 (110). The highest total of de facto ADIZ violations is 446 (August 2022).


ADIZ Report - 14 Feb 2024 (Taiwan Ministry of National Defense)

The largest single-day total of de facto ADIZ violations this month was 14 aircraft on 14 Feb 2024. 11 aircraft crossed the median line, two entered the southwest ADIZ, and one entered the northeast ADIZ. The highest single-day total of de facto ADIZ violations on record is 56 (4 Oct 2021).



Total number of PLA aircraft tracked in the de facto ADIZ by category

The majority of aircraft (41) this month were unable to be identified from the MND's reports, but were made up of an unknown mix of fighters and UAVs.




In total, the PLA violated Taiwan's de facto ADIZ 20 days in February 2024.


Flights into the southwest ADIZ were the most common form of violation in February 2024. The breakdown is shown below:

Median Line

Northeast ADIZ

Eastern ADIZ

Southern ADIZ

Southwest ADIZ

Total

36

2

3

0

45

86


Total number of median line crossings by month

Adding February's data, the total number of de facto ADIZ violations for 2024 to date is 157. This is 82 less than this time last year.


Total number of de facto ADIZ violations by year

The approximate total number of de facto ADIZ violations to date is 4,962.


PLA Air Activity Outside the de facto ADIZ


Total number of aircraft tracked outside the de facto ADIZ by month

The MND confirmed that an additional 163 aircraft were tracked outside the de facto ADIZ in February. This brings the total number of aircraft tracked outside the de facto ADIZ since 5 August 2022 to 5,219.


PLA Naval Activity Around Taiwan


Total number of PLA Navy vessels tracked around Taiwan by month

The MND confirmed that PLA Navy vessels were tracked around Taiwan 163 times in February 2024. This brings the total number of PLA Navy vessels tracked around Taiwan since 5 August 2022 to 2,901.


Chinese Balloons Tracked Around Taiwan


Total number of PRC balloons tracked by month

A total of 26 balloons were tracked over and around Taiwan in February 2024, 31 less than in January 2024. This brings the total number of balloons tracked over and around Taiwan since 7 Dec 2023 to 90.



ADIZ Report - 2/10/24 (Taiwan Ministry of National Defense)

Eight Chinese balloons were tracked in the de facto ADIZ on 10 Feb 2024, this is tied for the highest single-day total of balloon flights on record (9 Feb 2024). Six of the balloons flew over Taiwan this is the highest single-day total of balloon overflights on record.


Conclusion


While February did see a higher amount of PLA activity around in 2024 so far, the overall level of activity seen since Taiwan's Presidential elections on 13 Jan 2024 has remained lower than the pre-election period.


Notably, there was no spike in PLA activity in response to the visit by U.S. congressional leaders, which represents a break from established trends in behavior. At the same time, the highest level of activity occurred following the death of two Chinese fishermen near Kinmen. As the situation around Kinmen continues to develop, additional incidents could result in further spikes in PLA activity.


If the PLA desires a return to pre-election levels of activity around Taiwan, the arrival of U.S. officials for Taiwan's Presidential inauguration on 20 May 2024 could provide an opportunity for Beijing to justify a spike in PLA activity leading to a more consistent, heightened presence.


This report was written using data from PLATracker's Taiwan ADIZ Violations Tracker. The full dataset can be found here.


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