TAIPEI: Taiwan military on Thursday said it shot down an unidentified civilian drone, which had entered its airspace over the restricted waters of Shiyu Island, just off the Chinese coast in the early hours today.
"The Jinmen Defense Command of the Army stated that at 12:30 p.m. today (1), an unidentified civilian aerial camera was found to enter the airspace over the restricted waters of Shiyu Island," according to the statement released by Taiwan's Defence Ministry.
"The Ministry of Defense will continue to search, monitor, and monitor closely to maintain the security of the defence area," the statement reads. A similar incident was reported on Tuesday where the Taiwanese military fired at a Chinese military drone after it entered the "restricted" air space over a Taiwanese-controlled island.
Since mid-August, a number of civilian drones have been spotted flying over the outlying island of Kinmen, 180 kilometres from Taiwan's main island but less than 10 kilometres from China.
On one occasion, on August 16, two Taiwanese soldiers wearing masks reportedly threw rocks at a Chinese drone when it flew above their military post. The Kinmen Defence Command said two other Chinese drones were detected at Little Kinmen island and nearby Lion islet on Saturday and Monday respectively.
The one that passed over Lion islet at around 4 pm was flying very low, only 30 meters from the ground, it said. China has increased its antics in the Taiwan Strait post since the visit of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Infuriated over US Senator Marsha Blackburn's visit to Taiwan, China had last week commenced military drills in the seas and airspace around the self-governed island. According to information released by the Taiwan region's defence authority, eight PLA Navy vessels and 35 PLA aircraft were detected around the island on August 26, with 18 of the detected aircraft (SU-30, J-11, J-16, and J-10) having flown on the east part of the median line of the Taiwan Straits and the island's air defense identification zone (ADIZ), the Global Times reported.
Meanwhile, US Arizona Governor Doug Ducey is the latest minister from America who arrived in Taipei on August 30 for a five-day trade mission to Taiwan and the Republic of Korea with a focus on strengthening Arizona's well-established partnerships with the two Asian partners.
The governor's itinerary included meetings with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen and other officials as well as discussions with the leaders of high-tech manufacturing companies.