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Taiwan fires warning shots at Chinese drone near offshore island

It was the first time warning shots have been fired in such an incident.
Navy soldiers walk in front of a frigate as President Tsai Ing-wen inspects military troops on Penghu Islands, Taiwan, on Aug. 30, 2022.
Navy personnel walk in front of a frigate on Penghu Islands, Taiwan, on Tuesday.Sam Yeh / AFP - Getty Images

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwan’s military on Tuesday fired warning shots at a Chinese drone that buzzed an islet controlled by Taiwan near the Chinese coast, a military spokesperson said.

The drone headed back to China after the shots were fired, the spokesperson said, according to Reuters. It was the first time warning shots have been fired in such an incident, according to the news agency.

Tensions have been especially high in the region since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit earlier this month to the self-governing island that Beijing claims as its territory.

China had warned for weeks against the brief trip Aug. 3 by Pelosi, D-Calif., saying it violated the “one-China policy,” under which the United States recognizes Beijing as the sole legitimate government of China and has unofficial relations with the democratic Taiwan.

The threats stoked fears of a potential military standoff between the U.S. and China, elevating the political visit to the status of a global showpiece. Nearly 3 million people were tracking Pelosi’s flight at some point the day of her arrival to see whether she would land on the island in spite of Beijing’s rhetoric, according to the site Flightradar24