Taiwan shoots down a Chinese drone for the first time
The Army of Taiwan first shot down an unidentified civilian drone which entered their airspace near an islet off the coast of China on Thursday, after the government promised to take tough action to tackle a rise in such intrusions.
Beijing, which claims Taiwan as its own over strong objections from the Taipei government, has carried out military exercises around the island since the beginning of last month in reaction to a visit to Taipei by the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi.
The Taiwanese government has stated that it will not provoke or escalate tensions, but se has been particularly angry in recent times over repeated instances of Chinese drones that buzz on islands controlled by Taiwan near the Chinese coast.
The Kinmen Defense Command, a group of islands controlled by Taiwan versus Chinese cities of Xiamen and Quanzhou, said in a statement released by the Taiwan Defense Ministry that the drone entered the restricted airspace over the Lion Islet just after noon (local time).
The Islet Troops they tried to warn him away, but it didn’t work, so they shot him downand the remains fell into the sea, he added.
Taiwan fired its first shot at a drone on Tuesday, shortly after President Tsai Ing Wen order the Army to take “strong countermeasures” against what it described as Chinese provocations.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, which on Monday dismissed Taiwan’s complaints about drones like nothing “to make a fuss”referred the questions to the Ministry of Defense, which had not yet commented on anything.
Chiu Chui-chengdeputy director of the Taiwan Mainland Affairs Council, assured reporters in Taipei that Taiwan had the legal authority to take “necessary defense measures”as Chinese aircraft were not authorized to enter Kinmen airspace.
Those measures include forcing planes to take off or land, he said.
Hours later, Taiwan’s Defense Ministry reported that 14 Chinese warplanes flew across the median line of the Taiwan Strait, which often serves as an unofficial territorial barrier, on Thursday.
In a speech before the Armed Forces, Tsai asserted that China was using drones and other “grey area” tactics to try to intimidate Taiwanhis office quoted in a statement.
Tsai again insisted that Taiwan will not provoke disputes, but that does not mean that it will not take countermeasures.added the statement.
“She has also ordered the Ministry of National Defense to take necessary and strong countermeasures in a timely manner to uphold national security,” he said.
“Let the military protect the country without fear and with solid confidence.”
Taiwan controls Kinmen, which at its closest point is a few hundred meters from Chinese territory, since the defeated Republic Government China fled to Taipei after losing a civil war against the communists of Mao Zedong in 1949.
During the height of the Cold War, China regularly bombed Kinmen and other Taiwan-controlled islands along the Chinese coast, but now they are tourist destinations.