Chinese Balloons Over Taiwan: Defense Ministry Reports Threat to Aviation Safety and Psychological Warfare

Taiwan’s Defense Ministry Detects Chinese Balloons Crossing Taiwan Strait

Introduction

The defense ministry of Taiwan has reported the detection of eight Chinese balloons crossing the Taiwan Strait within the past 24 hours. Out of these, five balloons crossed over into Taiwan. This marks the second consecutive day of a significant number of balloons being spotted.

Concerns Raised by Taiwan

Taiwan, which China claims as its own territory despite the objections of the government in Taipei, has raised concerns about the balloons since December. Taiwan argues that these balloons pose a threat to aviation safety and are part of psychological warfare tactics.

Daily Report on Chinese Military Activities

Taiwan’s defense ministry, in its daily report on Chinese military activities, disclosed that the first balloon was observed on Saturday morning, with the last one spotted in mid-afternoon. The ministry also noted that the same number of balloons were identified on Friday.

Balloon Flight Paths

According to a map provided by the defense ministry, five of the balloons crossed over the northern and central parts of Taiwan.

No Response from China

China’s defense ministry did not respond to calls seeking comment on Sunday. It is worth noting that both China and Taiwan are currently celebrating the Lunar New Year holiday, which is the most important festival in the Chinese-speaking world.

China’s Response Last Month

Last month, China’s government dismissed repeated complaints by Taiwan regarding the balloons. China claimed that these balloons are used for meteorological purposes and should not be exaggerated for political reasons.

Military Activities in the Taiwan Strait

Chinese warplanes frequently operate in the Taiwan Strait and often cross the previously unofficial barrier, known as the median line, which separates the two sides. China does not recognize the existence of this line.

New President and Talks with China

Taiwan recently elected Vice President Lai Ching-te as its next president, a figure China considers a dangerous separatist. Lai, who assumes office in May, has expressed willingness to engage in talks with China, but these offers have been rejected. He believes that the future of Taiwan should be determined by its people.

Potential for Balloon-Based Espionage

The use of balloons for spying purposes became a global concern in February of last year when the United States shot down a Chinese surveillance balloon. While China claimed that the balloon was a civilian craft that had drifted off course unintentionally.

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