Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense (MND) has announced that the country will deploy a new anti-drone system at military bases beginning next year.
The announcement was made following a recent incident in which an alleged Chinese drone spied on the island nation, capturing photos and videos of Taiwanese soldiers stationed in Kinmen.
Soldiers from the Lieyu Garrison Battalion were seen looking up at the “civilian drone” and throwing rocks at it.
The defense ministry said that deploying an anti-drone system is one of the priorities “to deal with gray-zone warfare threats.”
It also explained that military bases in Taiwan have a protocol to deal with drone intrusions, including sending audio warnings, taking up tactical positions, and raising combat readiness levels.
The MND disclosed that the Southeast Asian nation has completed the development of a remote-controlled drone defense system to be formally deployed in 2023.
Once ready for fielding, all facilities on Taiwan’s outer islands will be given priority.
Increase in Defense Spending
Taiwan has submitted its proposal for a $19-billion defense budget for next year.
The double-digit increase in defense spending includes funds for new aircraft, armored vehicles, weapons, and anti-drone systems.
Taiwan’s MND said that the increase gave full consideration to enemy threats, especially as China continues to stage large-scale military exercises around the island.
“We always give safety and national security the top priority … that’s why (the budget for) operational costs rises greatly,” statistics department minister Chu Tzer-ming told Reuters.
Determined to Defend Taiwan
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said on Tuesday that the country is determined to defend itself against a potential invasion by China.
She also stressed that enemies would face a high cost should they act aggressively against Taiwan.
“What we have to do is to let the enemy understand that Taiwan has the determination and preparation to defend the country, as well as the ability to defend itself,” Tsai remarked.
“A heavy price will be paid for invading Taiwan or attempting to invade Taiwan, and it will be strongly condemned by the international community.”