China's 'soaring dragon' drone used for first time to harass Taiwan

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This week, the high-altitude Chinese drone known as the "soaring dragon" threatened Taiwan's airspace, demonstrating the growing significance of drones in the developing confrontation in east Asia.

On Thursday, the Guizhou WZ-7, an aerial reconnaissance aircraft that can also give information for anti-ship ballistic missile targeting, carried out its mission in Taiwan's southwest Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ).

Just a few days prior, Chinese military drones crossed the Taiwan Strait's median line for the first time. Beijing is stepping up its pressure tactics on the democratic island it is rumoured to be trying to conquer.

a prominent position in the People's Liberation Army's "grey zone" harassing campaign against the 23.5 million-person island, joining daily warplane flights and cyberattacks to incite public fear of an invasion.

Taiwan has long had its own indigenous UAV programme, but after watching Ukraine's success using the military equipment against Russia, it has committed to strengthen its drone and anti-drone capabilities.

Taiwan's hefty military budget increase

The United States, Taipei's top arms supplier, recently approved the sale of more than $1.1 billion worth of military hardware, including anti-ship missiles and surveillance radar. Taiwan has also announced significant increases in its yearly military budget.

Following the Senate Foreign Relations committee's approval of a new bill that may considerably enhance American support for Taiwan by providing billions of dollars in defence financing, China's Foreign Ministry this week accused the US of meddling in internal Chinese affairs.

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