China Suffers Maritime Mishaps Amid Taiwan Tensions

Suspected Military Drone and Engineering Vessel Lost in Coastal Seas

Newsweek reports that has recently experienced the loss of a suspected military drone and an engineering vessel in its coastal waters. These incidents occurred around the same time the Chinese armed forces were conducting “punishment” drills near Taiwan.

According to Guangdong province's maritime safety authority, a 13-foot environmental research drone “crashed into the sea” on May 22. The crash site was in the center of the Bashi Channel, part of the strategic Luzon Strait, where Taiwan's Defense Ministry detected a Chinese military drone sortie on the same day.

Su Tzu-yun, a senior analyst at Taiwan's top military think tank, believes there is a “very high probability” that the downed aircraft was a Chinese People's Liberation Army UAV. The drone came within 45 nautical miles of Taiwan's southern tip during a sortie that reached the Philippine Sea in the Western Pacific.

China has flown nearly 5,500 sorties into Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ) since the fall of 2020. Beijing sent 82 military aircraft into the zone during pointed war games from May 23-24, meant as a warning to Taiwan's China-skeptic President Lai Ching-te.

In addition to the drone crash, the Zhejiang maritime safety agency announced the sinking of the Lianhe Qirui, a 4,400-ton ship used for offshore oil and gas platform supply and salvage operations, off the Chinese coast.

DroneXL's Take

The recent maritime mishaps experienced by China, particularly the loss of a suspected military drone, highlight the ongoing tensions between China and Taiwan. As China continues to conduct military drills and pressure tactics near Taiwan, the use of drones for surveillance and intimidation purposes is becoming increasingly common.

While these incidents may seem minor, they underscore the potential for escalation in the region. As advances and becomes more accessible, it is crucial for all parties involved to exercise caution and restraint to prevent unintended consequences.

From a pro-drone perspective, these events also emphasize the importance of responsible drone usage and the need for clear international guidelines and regulations. As drones become more prevalent in military and civilian applications, it is essential to ensure their safe and ethical operation to minimize risks and promote peaceful coexistence.

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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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