Taiwan has vowed not to escalate tensions in the region. At the same time, however, he stated that he would take strict measures in connection with increasingly frequent violations of Taiwan’s airspace or Taiwan’s air defense zone.
Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense said on Thursday that Chinese aircraft entered Taiwan’s air defense zone on 446 occasions in August. This is a higher figure than in all of 2020. In the first eight months of this year, Taiwan recorded 1,068 violations of its defense zone, which is about 100 more than in all of last year.
The airspace near the Jinmen archipelago, which is under Taiwanese control, was violated by a civilian drone on Thursday. Shortly after noon local time, it flew into the area near the islet of Sh’-yü (Lion Islet), which is located only a few kilometers from the Chinese city of Xiamen. Taiwanese soldiers tried to warn the drone and make it fly away, but were unable to do so, so they shot it down, the Taiwanese military said. Debris fell into the sea.
The first drone flew
Taiwan on Tuesday fired warning shots at a Chinese drone that was flying near the Chinese coast around an islet controlled by Taiwan.
The drone headed back to China after the shots were fired. According to Reuters, it was the first time warning shots had been fired in an incident of this nature.
Taiwan warned on Wednesday that it would use its right to counterattack if Chinese armed forces entered its territory. Taiwan’s defense officials said on Wednesday that “increased intensity” of Chinese military patrols near Taiwan continues and Chinese efforts to turn the Taiwan Strait separating China from the democratic island into a “Chinese marginal sea” are becoming the biggest source of instability in the region.
Taiwan proposed a double-digit increase in defense spending this month, which includes funds for new fighter jets. Taiwan’s armed forces are well equipped, but compared to the Chinese forces, their numbers are very low.
Tensions have recently been rising over Taiwan, which Communist China considers an inalienable part of its territory. Beijing threatens it with military intervention in the event of declaring independence. Beijing has long warned other countries not to deal with Taiwanese officials and not give the impression that they recognize the island’s independence.
In early August, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the island nation, after which China held large-scale military exercises in the area.
On Tuesday, the governor of the American state of Arizona, Doug Ducey, arrived in Taiwan. Republican Ducey will meet with Taiwanese President Cai Jing-wen, for example, but his three-day visit is primarily intended to attract suppliers to the semiconductor factory being built in Arizona by the Taiwanese company TSMC, the world’s largest chip manufacturer. The factory, which is being built at a cost of 12 billion dollars (roughly 294 billion crowns), is to start production in 2024.