Army fires warning flares at Chinese drone spotted over Kinmen

08/04/2022 11:53 AM
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Photo courtesy of the Kinmen Defense Command
Photo courtesy of the Kinmen Defense Command

Taipei, Aug. 4 (CNA) Army units in Kinmen fired warning flares on two occasions at a Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) drone spotted flying in the vicinity of the offshore county Wednesday night, Taiwan's military said Thursday.

Major General Chang Jung-shun (張榮順) of the Army's Kinmen Defense Command told CNA that units on Kinmen main island and nearby Beiding islet (北碇島) each detected the same unmanned aerial vehicle flying at a height of 2,000 meters at 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Wednesday night.

In accordance with standard procedures, Chang said the Army in Kinmen fired warning flares and took appropriate counter-surveillance measures to safeguard the security of its bases and military facilities.

The drone later left Kinmen and headed to the Chinese mainland, he added.

Chang said that this was the first time he could recall Army units in Kinmen firing warning flares at an enemy aircraft.

Beiding islet. CNA file photo
Beiding islet. CNA file photo

Kinmen, alternatively known as Quemoy, is a group of islands administered by the Republic of China (Taiwan), located roughly 10 kilometers east of the city of Xiamen in China's Fujian Province.

This marks the second time in a week that a PLA drone has been spotted in the vicinity of one of Taiwan's offshore counties.

Army units stationed on the tiny Dongyin (東引) Island, part of the Matsu archipelago under Taiwan's Lienchiang County, reported a similar incident on July 28.

The Army said at the time it believed the drone was being used by the Chinese side to conduct surveillance of Taiwanese troops stationed on Dongyin (東引) Island and to test the military's response to such incursions.

Wednesday's incursions came after U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi concluded a 19-hour visit to Taiwan, despite Beijing warning the California Democrat not to do so.

In the wake of Pelosi's visit, the PLA announced that it would hold live-fire military drills in six maritime areas near Taiwan from Thursday to Sunday.

Beijing, which sees Taiwan as part of its territory, also suspended imports of some food and agricultural products from Taiwan in retaliation for Pelosi's visit, the first by a sitting U.S. House speaker since 1997.

(By Huang Ming-hui and Joseph Yeh)


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