An unidentified civilian drone that entered Taiwanese airspace near an islet off the Chinese coast has been shot down by the Taiwanese military, according to a report by Reuters. The event follows the recent increase in Chinese military exercises around the island following the visit to Taipei by U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi in early August.
According to Reuters, Taiwan’s government has said it will not provoke or escalate tensions but has been particularly angered recently by repeated cases of Chinese drones buzzing islands controlled by Taiwan close to China’s coast.
The defence command for Kinmen, a group of Taiwan-controlled islands opposite China’s Xiamen and Quanzhou cities, said in a statement released by Taiwan’s defence ministry that the drone entered restricted air space over Lion Islet just after midday (0400 GMT). Troops on the islet tried warning it away but to no effect, so shot it down, with the remains landing in the sea, it added.
Chiu Chui-cheng, deputy head of Taiwan’s China-policy making Mainland Affairs Council, told reporters in Taipei that Taiwan had the legal authority to take “necessary defence measures”, as Chinese aircraft were not allowed into Kinmen’s air space.
Taiwan has controlled Kinmen, which at its closest point is a few hundred metres (feet) from Chinese territory, since the defeated Republic of China government fled to Taipei after losing a civil war to Mao Zedong’s communists in 1949, says the Reuters report.
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