Taiwan says China balloons are ‘serious threat to safety of flight paths’. Taiwan’s defense ministry has strongly criticized China for repeatedly sending balloons across the strait, calling on Beijing to cease these actions immediately. The ministry expressed concern over the disregard for civil aviation safety, emphasizing that the balloons pose a serious threat to the safety of international flight paths.
According to the defense ministry’s press release on Saturday, 12 Chinese balloons crossed the median line in the body of water separating Taiwan from China between January 1 and 5. Some of these balloons drifted over the main island of Taiwan, raising tensions in the region. China, which had previously refrained from crossing the line, has recently been conducting provocative actions, including flying warplanes across it, challenging Taiwan’s smaller armed forces.
The timing of Taiwan’s condemnation coincides with the upcoming presidential elections on January 13, where China’s threat has become a dominant theme in the campaign. Chinese President Xi Jinping reiterated the Communist Party’s territorial claims over Taiwan, emphasizing that the island would “surely be reunified” with China in the future.
This latest episode involving balloons is reminiscent of a similar incident last year when a Chinese balloon floated over the United States, causing tensions between Beijing and Washington. The U.S. claimed the aircraft was for surveillance and shot it down, while China insisted it was for weather purposes.
Taiwan began publicly disclosing details of balloon sightings in December, shedding light on a previously unpublicized issue. The defense ministry clarified that it had been monitoring these activities for some time before deciding to make the information public. As regional tensions continue to rise, the international community is closely monitoring the situation across the Taiwan Strait.