Two Taiwanese Soldiers look up at the offending drone

Chinese Drone Buzzes Kinmen Island, Territory of Taiwan

On August 24, footage of Taiwanese troops of the Dadan Defense Unit, on the islands of Kinmen, throwing rocks at a recording drone surfaced on Chinese social media site Weibo. By 1400 local time, the Ministry of National Defense of Taiwan had confirmed the footage to be real and that it was shot from a PLA drone equipped with a long lens.

The latest Chinese incursion follows recent high tensions following visits from senior US politicians, including Nancy Pelosi. During the latest incident one Taiwanese soldier was recorded to have been throwing rocks at the recording drone, while another aimed his service rifle at it. The video has seen generally positive reactions on Chinese social media sites, with users deriding he rock-throwing soldier for his apparent weakness in action and others celebrating the buzzing of the island. Still others compared the top-down perspective of the drone to photos of indigenous tribes seeing a drone for the first time.

Screenshot of the Weibo post showing the image of Taiwanese troops looking at the Chinese drone

The Kinmen islands lie roughly 10 kilometres away from the Chinese coastal city of Xiamen in Fujian province, and was successfully defended by Republic of China (Taiwanese) forces against People’s Liberation Army in the Battle of Kuningtouin in 1949 and the Battle of Dadan island in 1950. Since then, Kinmen has been under Taiwanese control. The People’s Republic of China maintains a claim of the Kinmen islands, along with all other Taiwanese territory, as an integral part of China, with the islands themselves claimed to be a part of Fujian province. As such, the islands are a point of contention in China-Taiwan relations, and were heavily bombarded with artillery fire during the First and Second cross-strait crises.

The Republican slogan “Three Principles of the People unite China” stands on Dadan island facing China

Due to its proximity with the mainland the islands have been heavily fortified, since the Chinese Civil War, with bunkers and anti-landing spikes littering the landscape. In recent years, however, the islands have seen significant growth in the last two decades, producing cleavers from artillery shells shot by the PLA, exporting sorghum liquor to the rest of Taiwan, and developing tourism from nearby mainland tourists.