Taiwan shooting down drone near China is ‘appropriate’

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Prime Minister Su Tseng-chang of Taiwan’s Executive Committee studies bullets while attending a news conference announcing the largest ammunition smuggling case in Taiwan’s history in Taipei, Taiwan, on November 9, 2020. REUTERS / Ann Wang

By Yimou Lee

TAIPEI (Reuters) – Shooting down a drone off China’s coast that rocked a Taiwan-controlled island was the most “appropriate” thing to do after repeated warnings and China should exercise restraint. regime, Taiwan Prime Minister Su Tseng-chang said on Friday.

For the first time, Taiwan’s military shot down an unidentified civilian drone that entered its airspace near an island near the Chinese city of Xiamen on Thursday, after the government declared announced tough measures against the proliferation of intrusions.

China responded that Taiwan was trying to “raise tensions” over the incident, after the island complained of harassment related to Chinese drones flying near the Kinmen Islands. as Beijing conducts military exercises around Taiwan.

Mr. Su told reporters that Taiwan had repeatedly issued warnings and asked China “not to trespass on our doorstep”.

The drone was shot down after entering confined space near the tiny Lion Island and crashing into the sea, according to Taiwan’s military.

“They kept ignoring our warnings to leave and we had no choice but to exercise in self-defense and shoot,” Su said. “This is the most appropriate response after much restraint and warning.”

Mr. Su said China should exercise restraint.

“We will never provoke, and we will do what is most appropriate to protect our land and our people.”

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said that “Taiwan’s attempt to raise tensions makes no sense”.

Taiwanese media quoted China’s Taiwan Affairs Office as describing the downing of the drone as “extremely ridiculous” and that Taiwan was trying to “intensify confrontation”.

The Kinmen Defense Command on Friday said its forces had spotted two more drones “quickly” flying back to Xiamen after the military fired flares to warn them away.

On Friday, South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense also released images of soldiers on Kinmen targeting a Taiwanese-developed Skynet “jammer gun” that can cut off the control signals of drones forcing them to fly. must land. It said the military is also using high-caliber rifles to shoot at drones.

Chinese forces have been exercising near Taiwan since early August following a visit to Taipei by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, angering Beijing.

China considers democratically administered Taiwan as its own territory, despite strong objections from the Taipei government.

At least two videos of recent drone trips have gone viral on Chinese social media, including one of Taiwanese soldiers hurling stones at a warship.

Su said that the videos were made for China’s “house propaganda”, adding to the anger of the Taiwanese people.

Taiwan fired warning shots at a drone for the first time on Tuesday shortly after President Tsai Ing-wen said she had ordered the military to take “strong countermeasures” against the attacks. What she calls China’s provocative actions.

Tsai advocated the idea of ​​”asymmetric warfare” to make his forces more mobile and harder to attack. Speaking via video link to a forum in Prague on Friday, Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said that remained the focus.

“To protect its security and sovereignty, Taiwan will continue to develop its asymmetric capacity to make cross-strait invasion very difficult and expensive,” he said.

Taiwan has controlled Kinmen, the closest place a few hundred meters (feet) from Chinese territory, since the defeated ROC government fled to Taipei after losing a civil war to the communists. by Mao Zedong in 1949.

At the height of the Cold War, China regularly shelled Kinmen and other Taiwan-administered islands along the Chinese coast, and while these islands maintained a substantial military presence, the Now they are also tourist attractions.

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