Taiwan Detects Six Additional Chinese Balloons, One Breaches Island Territory

The Taiwan defense ministry reported the identification of six additional Chinese balloons traversing the Taiwan Strait on Sunday, with one of them crossing over the island itself. This incident marks the latest occurrence in a series of such balloon sightings witnessed by the ministry over the past six weeks.

In a recent statement, the ministry strongly accused China of jeopardizing aviation safety and engaging in psychological warfare against the island’s residents through the deployment of these balloons. This statement was issued just days before the elections on January 13th.

Notably, China’s defense ministry, which refrained from commenting on the balloons in the previous month, has yet to respond to the recent request for comment. It’s important to highlight that China asserts its claim over Taiwan as part of its own territory, despite the staunch opposition from the government in Taipei.

Balloons for Surveillance Used by China

The global concern regarding China’s use of balloons for espionage gained traction last February when the United States claimed to have downed a Chinese surveillance balloon. China countered, asserting that the balloon was a civilian craft that had inadvertently strayed off course.

In the most recent development disclosed in the ministry’s daily report on Chinese military activities over the past 24 hours, it was revealed on Monday that six balloons had traversed the sensitive median line of the strait on Sunday. 

Nevertheless, the ministry, relying on a provided map, clarified that only one of the six balloons crossed over Taiwan, specifically at its southern tip. The remaining five balloons followed a path to the north of Taiwan without encroaching upon the island’s airspace.

All the balloons veered eastward before disappearing, the ministry further noted. The median line of the Taiwan Strait, once an unspoken boundary between Taiwan and China, now sees frequent traversing by Chinese fighter jets, drones, and, as evidenced, balloons.

It’s worth noting that China officially rejects the acknowledgment of the existence of the median line.

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