Beijing unleashes drone 'war' on Taipei. US responds with raids and weapons

Taiwanese ready to shoot down Chinese unmanned aircraft. Communist China maintains military pressure on the 'rebel' island. Washington: Beijing maneuvers will not create a "new normal" along the Taiwan Strait. Biden prepares .1 billion arms sale to Taipei.



Taipei (AsiaNews) - The Taiwanese Defence Ministry has declared that the Armed Forces will shoot down Chinese drones that violate national airspace. In recent days, Beijing has intensified the flyovers of unmanned aircraft over the Kinmen, islands located off the coast of China's Fujian Province, but under Taiwan's control.

The use of drones is part of the psychological 'warfare' launched by Communist China to keep the 'rebel' island under pressure: the aim is to prepare the ground for the eventual reconquest of the territory, with force if necessary.

On 4 August, Beijing had launched four days of drills in six predefined areas around Taiwan, a response to the visit of US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi to the Taiwanese capital.

The Chinese manoeuvres continued beyond their announced end date. Despite the official stop, still yesterday the Taiwanese military authorities identified the presence around the island of 37 Chinese planes and eight warships: 12 aircraft crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait, which informally divides the arm of the sea between the two sides, but which China no longer wants to respect.

Yesterday, the Biden administration made it clear that the US will not accept claims of a 'new normal' along the Taiwan Strait brought about by continued Chinese military activities. Washington especially rejects Beijing's position that the Strait is part of its sovereign space.

In response to Chinese operations in the area, two US missile launchers sailed across the Strait on August 28. The US authorities reiterated that the naval passage was conducted in compliance with the rules on navigation in international waters.

However, as Taiwan News reported, the Facebook page Taiwan Adiz reportedly intercepted radio transmissions between the Chinese and US military, with the former accusing Washington of sending two MH-60 Seahawk helicopters into China's airspace between 28 and 29 August.

In all likelihood, the two helicopters were stationed with cruisers transiting the waters of the Strait.

Meanwhile, according to Politico, the US government is ready to submit a new arms sale to Taipei to Congress. It would be a USD 1.1 billion package, including at least 160 anti-ship and air-to-air missiles. The Taiwan Relations Act commits the US to maintaining the island's military capability by providing defensive weapons.