Conflicts & War

Six Chinese hot air balloons cross Taiwan Strait’s median line

Taipei, Jan 22 (EFE).- Six Chinese hot air balloons crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait in the last 24 hours, the Taiwanese defense ministry said Monday.

In its latest report, the ministry reported the presence of six hot air balloons from China at an altitude of between 4,572 and 8,230 meters, one of which flew over the southern region of the island before disappearing.

This is a daily record since the ministry began recording such incursions last month.

The ministry first reported the presence of a Chinese hot air balloon beyond the strait’s median line on Dec. 8.

Since then, Taiwan has detected 49 hot air balloons in the vicinity of its territory, 14 of which flew over the island.

Concern about Chinese hot air balloons dates back to January last year, when the appearance of such a balloon over the US led Secretary of State Antony Blinken to suspend his planned trip to China.

China then claimed that the balloon was a civilian airship used for meteorological research purposes, but the US considered it part of a fleet of hot air balloons developed for surveillance operations.

The Taiwanese government considers the sending of such balloons part of the “grey zone” tactics adopted by the Chinese military to instill fear among the island’s population.

Taiwan – where the Chinese nationalist army withdrew after being defeated by communist troops in the civil war – has been governed independently since 1949.

However, China claims sovereignty over the island, which it considers a rebellious province and has not ruled out the use of force for “reunification” with it. EFE

jacb/pd

Related Articles

Back to top button