China has been accused of adopting “wartime tactics” after a spy drone was deployed over the Taiwan Straits to test Taipei’s defences. The UAV reportedly attempted to fly under the radar of Taiwan’s air defence system in a highly provocative manoeuvre. It comes amid a round of worsening tension between China and the island nation. Beijing refuses to recognise the sovereignty of Taiwan under the Chinese Communist Party’s long-running “One China Policy” and has threatened to take over the country by military means.
Regional expert Dr Malcom Davis told Sky News Australia: “What you saw was a Chinese intelligence gather aircraft fly at very low altitude about thirty metres above the waves over the Taiwan straits.
“To try and sneak under Taiwan’s radar in order to gather intelligence on Taiwanese air defence system and Taiwanese activities.
“So in effect, it is the sort of profile that would be used during wartime to try and strike at Taiwanese targets in a war.
“So the Chinese are practising these sorts of operations it doesn’t suggest they are doing it purely out of a sense of normality or impending peace.”
He continued: “I think we are in thought times ahead.”
The incursion by the People Liberation Army aircraft came after Taiwan’s Vice President told Beijing his country would never hand over sovereignty in the face of Chinese aggression.
Lai Ching-te told the Global Taiwan National Affairs Symposium that the island state was “not subordinate” to Beijing.
He said: “It is an undebatable fact that Taiwan is not subordinate to China.”
He also insisted that the eventual unification of China and Taiwan was an inevitable “historical process.”
The Republic of China, as Taiwan is officially named, was founded following the Chinese Civil War and the birth of the modern communist-controlled People’s Republic of China.
Beijing has long harboured ambitions of returning the island to CCP rule and in the past has refused to do business with countries that recognise the legitimacy of the Republic of China (Taiwan).
This is in alignment with the Chinese state policy that there can be only one internationally recognised “China”.