On Full Standby, Taiwan Fires Flare To Repel Chinese Drone Swarms

On Full Standby, Taiwan Fires Flare To Repel Chinese Drone Swarms
Taiwan Fires Flare To Repel Chinese Drone Swarms

Taipei - Taiwanese troops fired flares to repel a swarm of drones over the Kinmen Islands region Wednesday night. The drone group was deployed by the Chinese military amid tensions in the region. Taiwan's Ministry of Defense confirmed the flare shot was a warning shot.

Taiwan has been on high alert as China conducts large-scale war games in response to the visit of US House of Representatives (DPR) Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan.

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Major General Chang Zone-sung of the Taiwan Army's Kinmen Defense Command told Reuters that Chinese drones came in pairs and flew into the Kinmen area twice on Wednesday evening, at around 9 p.m. and 10 p.m.

"We immediately fired flares to warn and chase them away. After that, they turned around. They entered our restricted area and that's why we dispersed them," he said.

The heavily fortified Kinmen Islands are off China's southeast coast, near the city of Xiamen. "We have standard operating procedures. We will react if they come in," Chang said, adding that the alert level there remained normal.

Chang said he believed the drone swarm was meant to gather intelligence about Taiwan's security deployments on its outlying islands.

Last week, Taiwan's military fired flares to warn of a drone that was "glaring" at the Matsu islands off the coast of China's Fujian province, and may be investigating its defenses. Reports of the drone strike come as tensions around Taiwan are heating up.

Read Also: 27 Chinese Fighter Jets Pass Through Taiwan's Air Defense Zone

On Tuesday, Pelosi visited an island that Beijing considers part of China's sovereign territory. The speaker of the US House of Representatives, who is the third in line to the US presidency, has been the highest American official to do so since 1997.

China has previously repeatedly protested against the move, calling it a provocation. Beijing reacted to Pelosi's trip by launching massive combat drills around Taiwan and warning the US that Pelosi's visit would have a severe impact on bilateral relations between Beijing and Washington.

Since 1949, Taiwan has been ruled by nationalists who lost in China's civil war, who were evacuated from the mainland with US help. The government in Taipei calls itself the Republic of China (ROC) and has never officially declared independence.

Washington maintains close unofficial ties to the island and sells arms to Taipei, although it officially recognizes China as the only legitimate authority in the region.

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