Did the PLA fly a drone around watchhouse in Kinmen?
Published: Aug 25, 2022 01:46 AM
Photo: Screenshot of Weibo video

Photo: Screenshot of Weibo video

Did the People's Liberation Army (PLA) send a drone to Kinmen and shoot a high-resolution video of the local watchhouse and soldiers? No, it's likely just a blogger on the mainland livestreaming flying his or her private craft, an influencer on Weibo said.

The defense authority on the Taiwan island said on Wednesday that they expelled a civil drone that shot a defense area in the Kinmen county, from a high altitude on August 16, according to media reports.

Kinmen, a county of the Taiwan island, is located about ten kilometers to the east of the mainland city of Xiamen, East China's Fujian Province.

The authority said that they deployed reconnaissance means around the Dadan defense area and could effectively grasp the situation in the areas. They also said they had conducted camouflage measures in vital equipment and areas and would deal with emergencies accordingly, media reported.

The authority made the remarks after a high-resolution video, which clearly showed an outpost of the Taiwan defense authority went viral on social media. Citing netizens, some media in the Taiwan island claimed that the video was shot by a drone sent by the PLA and was also released to social media platforms by the PLA.

The incident came amid tension in the Taiwan Straits following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's provocative visit to the Taiwan island in early August. The PLA conducted live fire military drills encircling the Taiwan island for days after the visit and vowed to take firm actions to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

It soon became a trending topic on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo. Amid heated discussion, an influencer on Weibo said on Wednesday that the drone was released by a blogger instead of the PLA.

"If the drone was sent by the PLA, the video would not be released to social media platforms," the influencer said. The information remains unverified.

In the video, some guards came out of the outpost after they found the drone. Some of the guards tried to expel the drone away by throwing stones toward it.

A screenshot of the video showing two guards of the defense authority of the island looking up to the drone bluntly also circulated virally on social media platforms.

"The guard looks so clean and their skin looks so good, they apparently have not been trained enough," some Weibo users said jokingly.

Kinmen county consists of two groups of islands, which have been governed by the Taiwan authorities since the Kuomintang (KMT) regime lost the civil war with the Communist Party of China and retreated to the island of Taiwan in 1949. The islands' strategic position has reflected the significant changes in cross-Straits relations.

They have been, for example, a battlefront during the KMT authority's military action against the mainland and a prosperous trading point between the mainland and Taiwan.