Taiwan military experts are divided over how the self-governed territory should respond to Chinese drones, which have been entering the airspace over islands under its control near the Chinese mainland with increasing frequency.
Options range from shooting them down, as was done for the first time just kilometers from the Chinese city of Xiamen on September 1, to ignoring them in hopes of avoiding an unnecessary confrontation with Beijing.
Perhaps the least effective solution is to throw rocks at them, as Taiwan soldiers were seen doing in a late August video that went viral on the Chinese social media platform Weibo.
One of the most outspoken advocates of a hard line is Holmes Liao, formerly an adjunct distinguished lecturer at Taiwan's War College and now an analyst at the Jamestown Foundation in the United States.
"Any drone must be shot down," Liao said in an interview with VOA's Mandarin Service. "There's nothing else to say. Once it's in our airspace, shoot it down. How can Taiwanese people have confidence in national defense if they're afraid or unable to shoot down drones?"
The drone flights, mainly over a handful of Taiwan-held islands within eyesight of the mainland, have increased along with a series of Chinese live-fire exercises around Taiwan since August 2, when U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi became the highest-ranking American official in 25 years to visit the self-ruled island.
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen ordered Taiwan's military last week to take strong countermeasures against any Chinese provocation, and on September 1 the military shot down a drone over Shiyu, a tiny islet constituting part of Taiwan's Kinmen County just offshore from Xiamen, a port city and tourist hotspot in China.
The military said it first tried to warn off the device with flares before shooting it into the sea.
The action was seen by some as an escalation by Taiwan, whose Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng was quoted by Newsweek last year saying his military would "never strike first" and thereby give China an excuse to attack Taiwan.
But Taiwan Premier Su Tseng-chang defended the shoot-down the next day, saying it was "appropriate" after repeated warnings. "We had no choice but to exercise self-defense and shoot," Su told reporters.
Beijing essentially laughed off the incident, describing it as "extremely ridiculous" in a statement from its Taiwan Affairs Office. The statement, as reported by Taiwanese media, also accused Taiwan of trying to "hype up confrontation."
Speaking at a regular press briefing the same day, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said, "It is pointless for the Taiwan authorities to exaggerate tension."
Some Taiwanese analysts also question whether the drone flights, which may be the work of civilians on the mainland rather than China's military, constitute a sufficient threat to warrant the risk of provoking Chinese retaliation.
Lu Li-shih, a former instructor at the Taiwanese Naval Academy, told VOA Mandarin he worries that soldiers shooting at the drones might accidently hit civilian ships passing between Kinmen County, which is a scattering of islands, and Xiamen.
"Because [Kinmen] is really close to the other side, how do you solve the problem of an accidental shooting incident? There are also soldiers on the other side, so if they hear the gunfire and fire back, doesn't that trigger a real cross-strait conflict?" Lu asked.
Lu suggested that Taiwan's government take advantage of anti-drone weapons such as the Iron Beam, an air defense system being developed by Israeli defense contractor Rafael.
According to 1945, a defense industry publication, the system creates a laser wall that can be used against "mines, mortar rounds and anti-tank missiles, as well as countering attacks from drones, rockets and conventional missiles."
Another option was proposed by Chang-Ho Yu, a military writer in Taipei.
"If the army can't handle it temporarily, or if maybe for some reasons today our government just doesn't want the army to handle it, then maybe the police can," Yu told VOA Mandarin.
The United States, for its part, announced on September 2 a $1.1 billion arms package for Taiwan that would include anti-ship and air-to-air missiles to repel potential invasion attempts by China.
Days earlier, U.S. National Security Council coordinator John Kirby said the U.S. was aware of reports of Chinese drones buzzing Taiwan's airspace and that the U.S. would never accept any "new normal" that China tries to establish across the Taiwan Strait, the Taipei Times reported.