Taiwan has confirmed for the first time that several Chinese military drones have crossed the median line dividing the Taiwan Strait into the island nation’s air defense zone.
It said 45 PLA planes flew around the island country on Thursday, 25 of which crossed the center line. This included an unmanned aerial vehicle.
The Taiwanese military also confirmed that more drones crossed the border on Friday and Saturday.
A PLA drone, identified as a BZK-007 vehicle, reportedly crossed the island’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) in the southwest corner on September 5 along with eight other Chinese warplanes. The incursion came just days after Taiwanese soldiers shot down a civilian drone over the waters of a tiny island in mainland China.
In the past two years, China has stepped up incursions into Taiwan’s southwestern ADIZ. However, the use of military drones has been rare.
Taiwan’s ADIZ, which is larger than its airspace, overlaps with part of China’s air defense zone and even includes some parts of the mainland.
Over the past month, drone strikes have increased tensions between the two sides. Taiwan has reported nearly 30 drone strikes since US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the island last month. These drones were mostly civilian or unidentified.
The country’s military has now begun shooting down civilian drones flying over its territory.
“We’re holding back, but that doesn’t mean we won’t retaliate,” Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen has warned China, adding that she has ordered the military to take “strong and necessary countermeasures” to protect its airspace and security forces Defend security when appropriate.
Responding to a question from reporters about the civilian drone strikes, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said, “Chinese drones flying over China’s territory – what’s there to surprise?”
Tensions between Taiwan and mainland China have been running high since Pelosi visited Taipei in August. China responded by ordering several days of military drills around the island. Beijing claims the self-governing island is part of its territory and has long vowed to “unite” the island to mainland China by force if necessary.
Taiwan has been trying to build up its military capabilities to ward off a possible attack from China. However, arms shipments from the US have been delayed due to the ongoing war in Ukraine.
https://www.ibtimes.com.au/taiwan-says-chinese-military-drones-crossed-taiwan-strait-median-line-1838221?utm_source=Public&utm_medium=Feed&utm_campaign=Distribution Chinese military drones have crossed the Taiwan Strait midline, Taiwan said