2 Chinese Balloons Spotted Over Taiwan

(RepublicanReport.org) – Taiwan recently spotted two Chinese balloons over its airspace, the second sighting since December 7. The balloons came through the Taiwan Strait, the stretch of ocean between the two territories, raising possible questions as to whether China might be attempting to spy on its island neighbor. The news comes as Taiwan gears up for its own 2024 presidential elections, and tensions continue to escalate between the two Asian nations.

Newsmax reports that Taiwan’s Defense Ministry spotted the latest balloons on December 17. The objects were roughly 110 nautical miles from Keelung, a port city located along the island’s northern tip. The Defense Ministry hasn’t commented on whether officials believe the objects were simply weather balloons or spy devices.

Taiwan and China have been on increasingly shaky ground since the island established its independent government in 1949, according to the Council on Foreign Relations. China’s leadership has refused to accept the smaller country’s sovereignty, viewing it as a wayward province, and has promised to rein it in by whatever means necessary. Its hostilities only heightened in 2016, when newly elected Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen sought to minimize ties. Taiwan’s upcoming election has reportedly caused added strain due to its frontrunner, progressive Lai Ching-te, previously publicly declaring that the island does not belong to China.

China’s use of the balloons for espionage came to light in early 2023 when the US military shot down one of the craft over American airspace. The Wall Street Journal states that an analysis of the debris determined that the balloon had been fitted with cameras and equipment to send data back to China. The devices never had the chance to transmit any of the data they collected, which may or may not have been the result of a malfunction, and the Pentagon might have had a hand in blocking the info, although sources can’t confirm any details. Beijing insisted that the craft was an innocent weather balloon.

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