Army publishes four-step response to Chinese drone intrusions

08/29/2022 09:26 PM
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Image for illustrative purpose only. File photo courtesy of Army
Image for illustrative purpose only. File photo courtesy of Army's Kinmen Defense Command

Taipei, Aug. 29 (CNA) Taiwan's Army has released a four-step standard response to incursions by Chinese drones after spotting one near a small islet in frontline Kinmen County on Monday, amid widespread criticism that it has done little to counter such incidents.

In a press release, the Army's Kinmen Defense Command said soldiers posted at a Shi Islet (獅嶼) outpost detected an unmanned aerial vehicle flying in a restricted area about 200 meters away from the outpost at a height of 30 meters at 4:08 p.m.

Based on standard response procedures for such incursions, soldiers fired warning flares before the drone flew away, heading to Xiamen in China around 5 kilometers away at 4:09 p.m., it said.

The command also made public for the first time what it described as its four-step response procedure for drone encounters, consisting of "firing warning flares, reporting the incursion, expelling the drone, and ultimately shooting it down."

It was not immediately clear if the four-step response was drawn up recently or had been in place well before the recent uptick in drone incursions.

It was the first time, however, that the Army divulged its response measures on a step by step basis, perhaps due to the recent stinging criticism of its lack of a serious response to more frequent Chinese drone incursions in Taiwan's offshore islands.

Chinese netizens have recently released a series of clips taken by civilian-operated drones showing them flying close to and filming military lookout posts, which were aimed at embarrassing Taiwan's military.

The Ministry of National Defense (MND) has been refraining from more aggressive countermeasures such as shooting the drones down to avoid further escalating cross-Taiwan Strait tensions.

To deal with the rising drone threat in the long term, however, the MND said it has been working on a defensive system against drones for installation by next year in Taiwan's two offshore counties located close to China's coast -- Kinmen and Lienchiang.

(By Joseph Yeh)

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