Taiwan Shoots Live Ammunition at Drones Close to Distant Islands

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The three drones were reportedly observed heading back toward the Chinese mainland, according to Taiwan’s defense ministry.

Chinese drones have been flying close to Taipei’s islands near the Chinese mainland in recent weeks, and the city has objected.

After US lawmaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan earlier this month, cross-strait tensions are still quite high.

Drone intrusions have increased, according to Taiwan, as a result of China’s massive military exercises that were initiated in retaliation for Mrs. Pelosi’s visit.

Some of the drone flights, which have flown above military bases, have been referred to as “grey zone” combat operations by President Tsai Ing-wen.

Three civilian drones were reportedly observed on Tuesday night in Dadan, Erdan, and Shiyu, three Kinmen islands that are just a few kilometres from the Chinese city of Xiamen, according to the Kinmen Defense Command.

Before firing a live bullet at a drone that was coming back, it noted that it had shot warning flares. Finally, the drones turned in the direction of Xiamen.

China has not yet commented on the most recent Taiwanese report. Beijing, however, earlier this week disregarded the island’s concerns that Chinese drones had repeatedly harassed it.

What is shocking about Chinese drones flying over Chinese land, said Zhao Lijian, a spokeswoman for the foreign ministry, on Monday.

His remarks sparked outrage from Taiwan’s foreign ministry, which said that “uninvited persons are considered thieves.”

Leaked drone video showed Taiwanese troops hurling rocks at the robots in an effort to push them back was extensively shared online in the middle of August. On Chinese social media, the video sparked widespread criticism and derision.

Upgrades to the island’s defences have been promised by President Tsai Ing-wen. Her administration this week presented a record T$586.3 billion ($19 billion; £16 billion) defence budget.

Taiwan also said on Wednesday that it would be ready to launch a “counterattack” in the future if Chinese aircraft or ships violated its airspace.

China responded to Mrs. Pelosi’s visit in early August by conducting its largest-ever military drills near Taiwan. It fired missiles, fighter aircraft, and warships into Taiwanese-claimed territory over the course of a week.

Beijing has been accused by Taiwan’s administration of conducting such military exercises to practise an invasion.

Ms. Pelosi’s visit was seen by China as a threat to its claims of sovereignty over Taiwan, which views itself as separate.

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