Taiwan reports more Chinese balloons over Taiwan Strait


TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said on Sunday it had detected eight Chinese balloons crossing the Taiwan Strait in the past 24 hours, five of which flew across Taiwan, the second consecutive day of a large number of balloons. Information has been received.

Taiwan, which China claims as territory despite strong objections from the Taipei government, has complained about the balloons since December, saying they pose a threat to aviation safety and an attempt at psychological warfare.

In its daily report on Chinese military activities, Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said it saw the first balloon on Saturday morning and the last balloon in the afternoon, with a similar number of balloons being seen on Friday.

The five crossed into northern and central Taiwan, according to a map provided by the ministry.

China’s Defense Ministry did not respond to calls seeking comment on Sunday. Both China and Taiwan are currently celebrating the Lunar New Year holidays, the most important festival in the Chinese-speaking world.

Photos you should see

A member of the National Ballet of Ukraine looks at her phone while preparing for a performance "nadia ukraine" (Hope for Ukraine) Opening night in Vancouver on Monday, February 5, 2024.  Twenty-three dancers are on a Canadian tour highlighting Ukrainian culture through traditional dance, while also supporting the war effort by collecting donations from audiences for Ukraine First.  Lady Olena Zelenska Foundation and Humanite.  (Darryl Dyke/The Canadian Press via AP)

Last month, China’s government rejected Taiwan’s repeated complaints about the balloons, saying they are for meteorological purposes and should not be publicized for political reasons.

Chinese warplanes fly daily over the Taiwan Strait and often cross its median line that previously served as an informal barrier between the two sides. China says that it does not recognize the existence of that line.

Taiwan last month elected Vice President Lai Ching-te as its next president, a man China describes as a dangerous separatist.

Lai, who took office in May, has offered talks with China, which have been rejected. He says that only the people of Taiwan can decide their future.

The possibility of China using balloons for spying became a global issue last February when the United States shot down a Chinese surveillance balloon. China said the balloon was a civilian vessel that went aground by mistake.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by William Mallard and Sonali Paul)

Copyright 2024 Thomson Reuters,


Source link

Leave a Comment