Taiwan military fired at Chinese army UAV first: Beijing
The Taiwanese military opened fire against a UAV launched by the Chinese military over one of the islands under Taipei's control.
The Taiwanese military initiated by opening fire against a UAV launched by the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) for the first time after the drone approached the Taipei-controlled Kinmen Islands, the island's defense ministry said Tuesday.
"At around 5:59 pm, a drone entered the restricted air space over Erdan Island once again. The defense forces issued warnings in accordance with protocol," the Taiwanese ministry of defense claimed.
"Because the drone continued to hover over the area, the defense forces opened fire and forced it to leave. The drone flew towards Xiamen at around 6 p.m.," the ministry added.
The statement further noted that the Kinmen defense forces would continue to stay on high alert and increase their surveillance of the island.
Erdan Island is part of the Kinmen Archipelago, while Xiamen is located in the coastal Chinese province of Fujian.
Tensions flared up between China and Taiwan earlier this month, reaching their highest in decades, due to a visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to the island after Beijing warned both Washington and Taipei against such a trip.
Since early August, China has carried out several large-scale military exercises near Taiwan in response to the visits of high-ranking US officials to the island.
Pelosi's visit also led China to announce ending cooperation with the United States on a number of issues such as climate change, anti-drug efforts, and military talks.
The escalation in the region saw Taiwan announcing plans on increasing its security budget in light of rising tensions with Beijing, especially due to the latest developments that drove a wider wedge between China and Taipei.
Taipei proposed a security budget of $13.7 billion for 2023, marking a 13% year-on-year increase, pending parliamentary approval.
The island will also create a special budget allocated specifically for the acquisition of fighter jets and other aircraft and naval vessels to boost its capabilities in the maritime and aerial arenas.
Politico previously reported that the White House is examining a package of weaponry for Taiwan that includes 60 AGM-84L Harpoon Block II anti-ship missiles ($355 million), 100 air-to-air AIM-9X Block II Sidewinder missiles ($85.6 million), as well as an extension of the deal for radars for $655.4 million.