It’s Taiwan’s turn to take on a crashed weather balloon as the military claims it most likely came from China. The country’s military found the balloon on a remote and strategically located island near the Chinese coast.
Taiwan’s army says it observed an unknown object falling from the sky over Dongyin island. The object fell with remnants appearing to be that of a balloon.
The army said the probable balloon is about 1 metre in diameter with an instrument box displaying simplified Chinese characters of “Taiyuan Radio No. 1 Factory Co, Ltd,” “GTS13 digital atmospheric sounding instrument” and “meteorological instrument.”
“The preliminary investigation determined that the remains were of a meteorological detecting instrument, which has been collected by the relevant departments for further evaluation.”
Taiwan’s defence ministry said on Tuesday that it had not spotted any surveillance balloons from China in its vicinity.
According to Reuters, Taiwan’s discovery comes amid a dispute between the US and China over spy balloons. However, that dispute seems to have been resolved as US President Joe Biden announced yesterday that he doubted the balloons found over US territory were from China.
Instead, in a rare turnaround, Biden said the balloons were “most likely” operated by private companies or research institutions rather than China.
Just three days ago, Taiwan’s defence ministry said it had not spotted any surveillance balloons from China in its vicinity.
The worries over rising military tensions between the three countries have brought the age-old battle over Taiwan back into the spotlight. China has regarded Taiwan as a renegade province to be reunified by force if necessary. The city of Taipei has complained of increased harassment by Beijing’s armed forces over the past three years.
Such harassment claims include the country claiming that China has flown fighter jets near Taipei and drones buzzing offshore islets.
Just last year, a small propeller-driven Chinese aircraft flew very close to Dongyin island with Taiwan’s government claiming they suspected China was deploying a civilian aircraft to test the responses of the Taiwanese military.
Taiwan forces also shot down a drone from China after it allegedly deployed many to Taiwan-controlled islands near the Chinese coast last August. The move was thought to be part of Beijing’s efforts to stage war games near the country.
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