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Taiwan to start shooting down Chinese drones that shirk warnings

Chinese drones that fail to heed warnings over Taiwan's outer islands will be shot down

Soldiers in Kinmen fire signal flare at Chinese drone. (KDC photo)

Soldiers in Kinmen fire signal flare at Chinese drone. (KDC photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Ministry of National Defense (MND) on Sunday (Aug. 28) announced that soldiers will shoot down intruding Chinese drones that fail to heed warnings after yet more footage surfaced showing Chinese unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) compromising Taiwanese military facilities.

Photo and video footage has appeared in recent days on Chinese social media site Weibo showing Chinese drones violating Taiwanese airspace and taking close-up footage of Taiwanese soldiers, who in one case were seen throwing rocks at a drone. In the most recent incident on Saturday (Aug. 27), a Chinese drone captured footage of Taiwanese soldiers stationed in a lookout post in Kinmen County's Lieyu Township.

On Sunday (Aug. 28), the Kinmen Defense Command stated that in accordance with standard operating procedures, the troops fired warning flares at the drone and maintained surveillance and a high state of alertness. It then vowed that when future drone intrusions occur, the Army will take necessary countermeasures to "drive away" the drones, such as sounding whistles, broadcasting radio warnings, and firing signal flares, but if the UAV fails to leave, it will be "shot down."

On Aug. 24, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said that to improve base and aviation safety and wartime defense capabilities, remote-controlled anti-drone defense systems will be built at 45 facilities across Taiwan from 2022 to 2026. According to Liberty Times, more than NT$4.3 billion (US$141 million) has been allocated to the drone defense systems during this period.

In 2023, the MND will acquire five sets of drone defense systems and 232 jammer guns, with military facilities on outer islands to be prioritized. An official was cited by the newspaper as saying that before the implementation of the drone defense systems, a review will be carried out on the military's existing resources to devise a contingency plan.

Also on Sunday, the MND released a photo on its Facebook page in which it stated that to defend national security, it will take "appropriate countermeasures." Referring to drones and other aircraft that pose a threat to national security and aviation safety, the Armed Forces will "take necessary countermeasures, including driving them away."

According to the KDC, there have been 23 intrusions by Chinese drones over Kinmen County since U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan in early August.