HomePOPULARTaiwan Detects Eight Chinese Balloons Crossing Taiwan Strait

Taiwan Detects Eight Chinese Balloons Crossing Taiwan Strait

The tension between Taiwan and China heightened as Taiwan’s defense ministry reported the detection of eight Chinese balloons crossing the Taiwan Strait within the past 24 hours, with two traversing across the island. This surge in activity coincides with the commencement of the Lunar New Year holiday.

Despite China’s claims over Taiwan, which the Taiwanese government vehemently opposes, Taiwan has expressed concerns about the balloons since December, citing them as a potential threat to aviation safety and a form of psychological warfare.

According to Taiwan’s defense ministry’s daily report on Chinese military activities, the first balloon was spotted on Friday morning, with the last one observed in the early evening. Two balloons crossed the northern part of Taiwan, while the others approached the coast before disappearing. One balloon flew over the sea to the north of Taiwan.

China’s defense ministry did not respond to calls for comment on Saturday, coinciding with the beginning of the Lunar New Year holiday, a significant festival in the Chinese-speaking world.

Despite Taiwan’s protests, China has dismissed concerns about the balloons, asserting that they serve meteorological purposes and should not be politicized. This adds to ongoing tensions, as Chinese warplanes routinely operate in the Taiwan Strait, often crossing the median line, which China does not recognize.

Last month, Taiwan elected Vice President Lai Ching-te as its next president, a move China views as supporting separatism. Lai, set to assume office in May, has expressed willingness for talks with China, which China has rejected, asserting that Taiwan’s future should be decided by its people.

The potential for China to utilize balloons for espionage gained international attention last February when the United States downed a Chinese surveillance balloon, claiming it had strayed into its territory. China insisted the balloon was a civilian craft that had drifted unintentionally.

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