Taiwan angry at Chinese balloons: “Danger to international aviation” | outside

Taiwan accuses China of endangering international aviation by sending balloons towards the island. The Taiwanese Ministry of Defense describes this practice as a form of “psychological warfare.”

Taiwan has repeatedly reported balloons flying near or over the island recently. The authorities there are on high alert in preparation for the January 13 elections. The outcome of those elections could have serious consequences for the relationship with Communist China.

The Taiwanese ministry says sending the balloons shows “a disregard for aviation safety and the safety of passengers on international flights and across the Taiwan Strait.” China has not yet responded to these criticisms.

Weather balloons or spy balloons?

It is unclear what the function of the balloons is. This may include weather balloons for meteorological research. The United States shot down a Chinese balloon last year that the Americans said could be used to collect intelligence.

Relations between China and Taiwan deteriorated after the election of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen in 2016. Beijing considers her separatist. China considers democratically ruled Taiwan its territory. It also regularly sends fighter planes to the island.

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Denton Watson

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