The Taiwanese military fired warning shots at drones hovering over an outpost near mainland China’s coastline late Tuesday.
The incident took place on the Kinmen island group, a Taiwan-held region just 9 miles from the Chinese coast. Taiwanese soldiers spotted drones hovering above the island and fired warning shots, causing the drones to return to the nearby city of Xiamen, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.
A statement from the Taiwanese military described the drones as “civilian use.”
The incident comes as both Taiwan and mainland China hold extensive live-fire military drills as tensions rise between the two factions.
U.S. lawmakers have outraged China with frequent visits to the self-governed island, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi kicking off the most recent flurry in early August.
Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass, then led a congressional delegation of four others to the island on August 15, followed by a solo visit from Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., last week.
China has argued that visits by U.S. lawmakers infringe on America’s One China Policy, which states that the U.S. acknowledges the Beijing government as the sole government of China. It also states that the U.S. will not hold formal diplomatic ties with the government of Taiwan.
China reacted to the trips with its ongoing military drills, which surrounded Taiwan in a simulation of an invasion. The country has also fired ballistic missiles over the island and sent warplanes across the Taiwan Strait median line.
Taiwan first split from mainland China following a civil war between democratic and communist forces in 1949.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.