January 9, 2024
More Chinese balloons spotted over the strait of Taiwan
On Sunday, Taiwan’s Defense Ministry detected three additional Chinese balloons flying over the Taiwan Strait, with one of them crossing the island. This incident marks the latest occurrence in a series of such balloons identified by the ministry in the past month. The ministry has accused China of jeopardizing aviation safety and engaging in psychological warfare against the island’s populace through the deployment of these balloons, particularly in the days leading up to crucial Taiwanese elections.
Despite a request for comment, China’s Defense Ministry, which refrained from addressing the balloons last month, did not respond immediately.
The global concern over the potential use of balloons for spying arose in February of the previous year when the United States claimed to have shot down a Chinese surveillance balloon. China contended that the balloon was a civilian craft that had accidentally strayed off course.
Taiwan is currently on high alert, monitoring Chinese military and political activities in anticipation of the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections on Saturday. Taiwan asserts that China is applying military and economic pressure to interfere in the elections. China regards the island as its territory, a claim rejected by Taiwan’s government.
Over the past month, Taiwan’s Defense Ministry has reported multiple instances of Chinese balloons flying over the Taiwan Strait, and in the past week, some have flown over Taiwan Island near major air bases. The latest incident, disclosed by the ministry in its daily report on Chinese military activities, revealed that three balloons had flown over the sensitive median line of the strait on Sunday. Only one of them crossed Taiwan Island at its southern tip, according to the provided map. All the balloons headed east before disappearing.