Taiwan Reports Increased Incursions of Chinese Balloons

For the second consecutive day, Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense has reported a surge in the number of Chinese balloons flying near the island.

Taiwan Reports Eight Chinese Balloons

For the second consecutive day, according to Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense, a record number of Chinese balloons have been spotted. Six of these flying objects flew directly over the island, though their purpose remains unclear.

According to Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense, the country reported eight Chinese balloons for the second consecutive day. The balloons were sighted on Saturday between morning and afternoon local time, reaching altitudes of approximately 3,600 to 10,500 meters. It is said that six of the balloons flew directly over the island.

Just the day before, eight Chinese balloons crossed the unofficial boundary between China and Taiwan. A few weeks ago, six balloons were also sighted. Taiwan has been monitoring these flight movements through systematic measurements since December. The authorities have never observed as many balloons as they have in the past few days.

The exact purpose of these balloons remains disputed. Taiwan interprets these flights as part of China’s psychological warfare. The Ministry of Defense in Taipei has stated that they will monitor the situation and respond appropriately.

A year ago, a Chinese balloon flew over the United States before being shot down by the American military. At the time, the U.S. government accused China of using the balloon for espionage purposes, while Beijing claimed it was a weather balloon for meteorological measurements. In June 2023, the U.S. Department of Defense announced that the balloon likely did not collect any data.

Ongoing Conflict with China

The relationship between China and Taiwan has recently deteriorated significantly. In his New Year’s address, President Xi Jinping stated that Taiwan and China would “definitely” be reunified.

Since the political division between mainland China and Taiwan in 1949, Beijing has considered the democratic self-governed island as its own territory that it aims to reunify with the mainland. In recent years, the presence of Chinese warships and military aircraft around Taiwan has significantly increased.