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Updated January 3rd, 2024 at 23:38 IST

Taiwan claims 4 Chinese spy balloons spotted over island, near Ching-Chuan-Kang air base

Taiwan has reported that the four Chinese balloons flew over two major strategic sites on the island, indicating that they may have been used for spying.

Digital Desk
One of the balloons China had sent over the US last year before it was shot down.
One of the balloons China had sent over the US last year before it was shot down. | Image:AP
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TAIPEI, TAIWAN: On Wednesday, the Taiwanese Defence Ministry said that China had sent four more balloons over the island, three of which crossed over a key air base. According to a report by AP, the incursions came on Tuesday at a time when China is slowly ratcheting-up its threat to use force against the self-governing republic to realise Beijing's long-held goal of ‘unifying’ Taiwan with the Chinese mainland. According to said report, China is attempting to use its military, economic and diplomatic strength to influence Taiwanese voters to go for Beijing-friendly candidates ahead of the presidential and legislature elections on January 13. 

This comes at a time when the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, known for its advocacy of Taiwan's independent identity, is leading the opinion polls against its rivals. China regularly sends its navy ships and warplanes into the territorial waters of Taiwan and it is now suspected that Beijing is using balloons for intelligence gathering purposes.

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Of the four balloons that crossed over the island from east to west, three came close to the Ching-Chuan-Kang airbase which is reportedly home to much of the airwing dedicated to taking on threats emanating from China. The fourth balloon came close to the port of Keelung which is used by Taiwan for its trade with a major regional partner, Japan.    

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Published January 3rd, 2024 at 23:38 IST

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