Civilian Chinese drone spies on Taiwanese troops on Kinmen

This photo, taken by a Chinese drone of Taiwanese troops on Kinmen, is real, reports the Taiwan News. The army says a civilian Chinese drone took an aerial image of troops stationed to monitor PLA aircraft with a telephoto lens.

The Taiwanese military confirmed on Wednesday (August 24) that a photograph that has been circulating on Chinese social media of Taiwanese soldiers gazing up at a Chinese drone is real, but that it was actually taken at a greater distance than it appears to have been, and that it did not enter Taiwan's airspace.

Recently, a picture of two Taiwanese sentries apparently peering up at a People's Liberation Army (PLA) drone from what looks to be an incredibly close distance has appeared on social media.

The Lieyu Garrison Battalion noticed what the Kinmen Defense Command referred to as a “civilian drone” flying above at around 6 p.m. on August 16, it was revealed in a statement released on Tuesday (Aug. 23) by the Kinmen Defense Command.

The drone “immediately flew away” after the soldiers informed and warned the aircraft in accordance with standard operating procedure (SOP).

In a statement released the same day, the Ministry of National Defensive (MND) said that by using combined intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance techniques in the defense zone, it was able to identify the local dynamics successfully. The MND noted that crucial locations and infrastructure had been hidden and covered.

The Chinese drone was certainly civilian and was flying over the seas off the shore of Lieyu Township on Wednesday, according to a representative for the Kinmen Defense Command who spoke to Taiwan News. However, the drone did not penetrate the township's airspace. The spokesman underlined that one of the troops is carrying a camera in his hand to take pictures of the Chinese drone as can be seen in the picture, as is the SOP in such circumstances.

The spokesman emphasized that only a radio warning was given since the UAV was still offshore. He said that since the UAV never entered the nation's airspace, flares were not shot.

He said that the drone had captured the picture of the troops using a special zoom lens while flying at a height of around 1,000 meters.

DroneXL's take on the Chinese drone

This video of the incident seems to show that the Chinese drone might have been flying much lower than 1,000 meters and likely within Taiwanese airspace.

The Taiwanese soldiers seem to try to down the drone by throwing rocks at it. An attempt that would have been useless if the drone have indeed been flying at an altitude of 1,000 meters (roughly 3,000 feet). It also seems very unlikely that the soldiers would have even noticed a civilian Chinese drone flying so high.

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Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and, for all news related to electric vehicles. He is also a co-host of the PiXL Drone Show on YouTube and other podcast platforms. Haye can be reached at haye @ or @hayekesteloo.

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