Taiwan’s military fired warning shots at a Chinese drone on Tuesday, a military spokesperson said.
The Chinese drone was spotted above an islet controlled by Taiwan near the Chinese coast, and it returned to the mainland after the warning shots were fired, the spokesperson added, per Reuters. It’s the first time Taiwan has done this under these circumstances.
Also, on Tuesday, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said she had instructed the leaders of the armed forces to take “strong countermeasures” when necessary to protect the country’s airspace, according to CNA English News.
“I have ordered the Ministry of National Defense (MND) to take necessary and strong countermeasures at appropriate times to defend the security of the nation’s territorial airspace,” she said during an inspection tour of troops on the island of Penghu.
The tension between China and Taiwan has reached its highest levels in decades amid House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to the island nation of roughly 24 million people.
The speaker, along with a handful of other lawmakers of both parties, traveled to Taiwan earlier this month as a part of a longer Asia trip sparking a fierce response from Beijing that has included a cutting off of some diplomatic efforts with the United States and an unprecedented show of military force around Taiwan and in the Taiwanese Strait.
Various administration officials have repeatedly said that Pelosi’s visit did not alter U.S. policy toward China in any way, arguing that they are manufacturing a crisis where there is none, while the Chinese Communist Party disagrees.