Chinese drones spotted recently over Taiwan's Dongsha Islands

04/01/2021 07:29 PM
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Dongsha Islands (CNA file photo)
Dongsha Islands (CNA file photo)

Taipei, April 1 (CNA) The Coast Guard Administration (CGA) on Thursday said China was likely conducting reconnaissance missions over the Dongsha Islands, as its drones were recently spotted near the Taiwan-held territory in the South China Sea.

The presence of Chinese unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) near Dongsha indicates that Beijing may be gathering information about the area, the CGA said in a report presented during a legislative hearing.

According to the CGA, China is likely to step up such actions as the relationship between Taiwan and the United States continues to grow.

Cross-strait tensions remain high, with the People's Liberation Army (PLA) sending warplanes into Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ) almost on a daily basis, the CGA said in the report.

Beijing may also resort to using its coast guard vessels and private ships to ramp up the threats against Taiwan, the CGA said. In its recommendations, the CGA said it needs to hold regular drills to improve the capability of its officers to respond to emergencies.

Furthermore, Taiwan should seek to expand its exchange of information with friendly foreign forces, the CGA said.

Meanwhile, the CGA said, it is closely monitoring the marine area around the Dongsha Islands to look out for Chinese vessels and is holding drills to improve its response procedures.

The Dongsha Islands, also known as the Pratas, lie 450 kilometers southwest of Kaohsiung. They are one of two territories in the South China Sea that are controlled by Taiwan and manned by its CGA personnel, the other being Taiping Island.

(By Matt Yu and Ko Lin)

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