A military vehicle carrying a WZ-8 supersonic reconnaissance drone takes part a military parade at Tiananmen Square in Beijing on October 1, 2019, to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. (Photo by GREG BAKER / AFP)InternationalIndiaAfricaThe WZ-8 rocket-propelled reconnaissance drone was first presented in Beijing during a 2019 parade. The Chinese military may soon deploy a high-altitude spy drone that travels at least three times the speed of sound, significantly strengthening China’s ability to conduct surveillance operations, according to a leaked National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGIA) report cited by American media.The WZ-8 jet-propelled reconnaissance drone is a cutting-edge surveillance system that could strengthen China’s ability to conduct intelligence-gathering and targeting operations.The report reveals that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is making technological advances that could help it target American warships around Taiwan and military bases in the region.AmericasPentagon Leak: Disinfo Op to Expand Control of Internet & Get Rid of Biden14 April, 18:54 GMTIt also claims that the PLA has “almost certainly” established its first unmanned aerial vehicle unit at the base, which falls under the Eastern Theater Command, the branch of the Chinese military responsible for enforcing Beijing’s sovereignty over Taiwan. The US media obtained the assessment of the WZ-8 program from a trove of images of classified files posted on Discord, a group chat service popular with gamers, allegedly by a member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard.CC BY-SA 2.0 / Gage Skidmore, via Wikimedia Commons / Discord booth at the 2018 PAX West at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle, Washington.Discord booth at the 2018 PAX West at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle, Washington.The NGIA report features satellite imagery dated August 9 that shows two WZ-8 rocket-propelled reconnaissance drones at an air base in eastern China, indicating China’s progress in developing a surveillance system that could help it gather real-time mapping data for missile strikes and inform strategy in a future conflict. The document also details possible flight paths for the drone and the twin-engine H6-M Badger bomber used to launch it. After taking off from its home air base, the warplane would fly to just off China’s east coast before releasing the stealthy drone, which could then enter Taiwanese or South Korean airspace at a height of 100,000 feet and fly three times the speed of sound.