A video taken by a drone and showing sentries manning a guardhouse in Kinmen recently started circulating on Weibo. The Kinmen Defense Command confirmed that a Chinese civilian-operated drone was seen on Erdan Island on Aug. 16, and added that the video had been edited for use in China's cognitive warfare.
Soldiers pick up stones from the ground and throw them into the air. Drones from China have appeared more and more frequently in recent weeks. A photo recently started circulating on Weibo that showed two sentries manning a guardhouse at a military installation in Kinmen. The two soldiers wore camouflage and were looking up. Other soldiers threw stones. The Kinmen Defense Command said a Chinese civilian-operated drone was seen on Erdan Island on Aug. 16, and soldiers were on high alert. They reported the situation, and the drone subsequently flew off.
Chang Jung-shun, Political Warfare Director, Kinmen Defense Command: “Soldiers who were resting off to the side spontaneously picked up stones and threw them. The drone then immediately flew off. This command upholds the principle of being prepared for war and not seeking war and will strengthen its vigilance so as to not escalate or trigger conflicts.”
The command said the video posted online was only 10 seconds long and showed the soldiers throwing stones. It ended with a soldier behind them aiming a weapon. The video was accompanied by text ridiculing the military's "Stone Age" tactics. The military said this is part of China's cognitive warfare.
Su Tzu-yun, Director, Div. of Defense Strategy & Resources, INDSR: “Our SOP is to fire a warning flare while sentries are vigilant and have their firearms raised for air defense. It was cut off at this point, and the people shouldn't be misled by this type of unilateral propaganda.”
The military said it upholds the principle of preparing for war while not seeking war, so it didn't shoot the drone down. Meanwhile, Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Wang Ting-yu accused the military of dereliction of duty.
Wang Ting-yu, Legislator (DPP): “The so-called standard should be intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance tactics. Are we supposed to let them fly around freely? I'm going to be harsh and say this was a dereliction of duty.”
The Ministry of National Defense issued a press release saying the military will complete installing a remote drone defense system for civilian drones in 2023, and priority will be given to the outlying islands to respond to gray zone threats.