AP

Taiwan forces fire at drones flying over island near China

Aug 31, 2022, 12:15 AM | Updated: 6:24 am

Taiwan’s military fired warning shots at drones from China flying over its outposts just off the Chinese coastline, underscoring heightened tensions and the self-ruled island’s resolve to respond to new provocations.

Taiwan’s forces said in a statement that troops took the action on Tuesday after drones were found hovering over the Kinmen island group. Dadan, one of the islands where a drone was spotted, lies roughly 15 kilometers (9 miles) off the Chinese coast.

The statement Wednesday referred to the unmanned aerial vehicles as being of “civilian use,” but gave no other details. It said the drones returned to the nearby Chinese city of Xiamen after the shots were fired. Taiwan previously fired only flares as warnings.

The incident comes amid heightened tensions after China fired missiles into the sea and sent planes and ships across the dividing line in the Taiwan Strait earlier this month. It followed angry rhetoric from Beijing over a trip to Taiwan by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the highest-ranking U.S. dignitary to visit the island in 25 years.

China claims Taiwan as its own territory and its recent actions have been viewed as a rehearsal of a possible blockade or invasion. China’s drills brought strong condemnation from Taiwan’s chief ally, the U.S., along with fellow regional democracies such as Australia and Japan. Some of China’s missiles early in August fell into nearby Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

Taiwan maintains control over a range of islands in the Kinmen and Matsu groups in the Taiwan Strait, a relic of the effort by Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalists to maintain a foothold on the mainland after being driven out by Mao Zedong’s Communists amid civil war in 1949.

Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said China’s actions failed to intimidate the island’s 23 million people, saying they had only hardened support for the armed forces and the status quo of de-facto independence.

Officials said anti-drone defenses were being strengthened, part of a 12.9% increase in the Defense Ministry’s annual budget next year. The government is planning to spend an additional 47.5 billion New Taiwan dollars ($1.6 billion), for a total of 415.1 billion NTD ($13.8 billion) for the year.

The U.S. is also reportedly preparing to approve a $1.1 billion defense package for Taiwan that would include anti-ship and air-to-air missiles to be used to repel potential Chinese invasion attempt.

Following the Chinese drills, the U.S. sailed two warships through the Taiwan Strait, which China has sought to designate as its sovereign waters. Foreign delegations from the U.S., Japan and European nations have continued to arrive to lend Taipei diplomatic and economic support.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is currently visiting Taiwan to discuss production of semiconductors, the critical chips that are used in everyday electronics and have become a battleground in the technology competition between the U.S. and China.

Ducey is seeking to woo suppliers for the new $12 billion Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp. (TSMC) plant being built in his state.

The governor is also visiting tech powerhouse South Korea, and in a statement on his official website said his aim was to take these relationships to the next level – to strengthen them, expand them and ensure they remain mutually beneficial.”

Last week, the Indiana governor visited Taiwan on a similar mission.

Taiwanese Air Force pilots have also trained at Luke Air Force Base outside Phoenix for more than 25 years, an indication of continuing U.S. support for Taiwan’s defense despite the lack of formal diplomatic ties.

Taiwan produces more than half the global supply of high-end processor chips. China’s firing of missiles during its exercises disrupted shipping and air traffic, and highlighted the possibility that chip exports might be interrupted.

Reacting to Ducey’s visit, China on Wednesday reaffirmed its opposition to any official contacts between the U.S. and Taiwan. That was a further reminder of the Communist Party’s refusal to acknowledge the separation of powers within the U.S. government and the right of American local officials to operate independently of the administration.

“We urge the relevant parties in the U.S. to … stop any forms of official contacts with Taiwan, and refrain from sending wrong signals to the Taiwan independence forces,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at a daily briefing.

“China will take strong measures to resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Zhao said.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Kamala Harris speaking at podium...

Associated Press

Harris has support of enough Democratic delegates to become party’s presidential nominee

Vice President Kamala Harris won the backing of more than two-thirds of the Democratic delegates she needs to become her party's nominee and set a fundraising record Monday, as top Democrats rallied to her in their bid to defeat Republican Donald Trump.

3 days ago

Global technology outage causes chaos on Friday morning...

Associated Press

Faulty software update causes havoc worldwide for airlines, hospitals and governments

A global technology outage grounded flights, knocked banks and hospital systems offline and media outlets off air on Friday morning.

6 days ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump arrives during the second day of th...

Associated Press

Donald Trump celebrated by former rivals at Republican National Convention

Former president Donald Trump was celebrated at the Republican National Convention by former rivals, including Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis.

9 days ago

FILE - Members of the Henderson Fire Department load Deb Billet, 66, into an ambulance before trans...

Associated Press

Things to know about heat deaths as a dangerously hot summer shapes up in the western US

A dangerously hot summer is shaping up in the U.S. West, with heat suspected in dozens of recent deaths.

12 days ago

FILE - Dr. Ruth Westheimer participates in the "Ask Dr. Ruth" panel during the Hulu presentation at...

Associated Press

Dr. Ruth Westheimer, the sex therapist who became a pop icon, has died

Dr. Ruth Westheimer, the sex therapist who became a pop icon, media star and best-selling author, has died.

12 days ago

Biden proposes rule to protect 36 million workers from extreme heat...

Associated Press

Biden proposes new rule to protect 36 million workers from extreme heat

President Joe Biden on Tuesday proposed a new rule to address excessive heat in the workplace, warning — as tens of millions of people in the U.S. are under heat advisories — that high temperatures are the country's leading weather-related killer.

23 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinic visits boost student training & community health

Going to a Midwestern University Clinic can help make you feel good in more ways than one.

...

Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.

Taiwan forces fire at drones flying over island near China