CHINA has sent dozens of spy balloons over Taiwan, raising fears the global superpower is stepping up plans to invade its Asian neighbor.
Since February 2022, Taiwanese officials have claimed Chinese military balloon flights have invaded their airspace “very frequently”.
The chilling news comes just days after the US ordered its Air Force to shoot down a Chinese spy balloon over its South Carolina waters.
China has since denied any wrongdoing, claiming it was “weather research”.
However, the Pentagon claimed it had “violated US airspace and international law,” prompting investigations by its allies as well.
But the recent influx of balloon flights worries Taipei officials the most.
According to a Financial Times report, senior officials said Chinese military surveillance balloons have entered Taiwan’s airspace “very frequently”.
The last incursion took place “a few weeks ago” with balloon locations occurring “once a month” on average.
The revelations of the flights over Taiwan provide new insights into China’s extensive military balloon program.
The revelations also coincide with the People’s Liberation Army strengthening its capacity to invade its neighbor.
Beijing has threatened in the past to annex the island using military force.
A senior US general warned that the US and China could enter a bloody war by 2025 if Taiwan were blitzed.
Taiwanese officials believe the Chinese-made balloons fly at an altitude of about 20,000 feet and their dimensions exceed those of weather balloons.
Military experts claimed the balloons were developed by China’s Equipment Development Department of the Central Military Commission, the report said.
It further quoted a Taiwanese official as saying the balloons were launched by the People’s Liberation Army Air Force, while others were dispatched by the People’s Liberation Army Missile Force.
The balloons are believed to be measuring atmospheric data to improve the accuracy of radar and missile systems, the report said.
Such atmospheric measurements must be constantly updated to account for seasonal and annual changes.
The MND has not responded to these allegations.
Other countries in the Asia-Pacific region, including Japan and the Philippines, have seen balloons enter their airspace.
The balloon saga is set amid simmering tensions between the US and China.
Mike Minihan, chief of the US Air Force’s Air Mobility Command, was blunt about tensions between the two countries in a leaked memo.
He said, “My gut tells me we’re going to fight in 2025.”
Former US Indo-Pacific Command chief Admiral Philip Davidson called the threats against Taiwan a possible trigger for the war.
Last year the admiral said: “I think the threat will manifest itself in this decade, in fact in the next six years.”
The US has consistently sided with Taiwan as it faces increasing military aggression from China.
US politician Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan in 2022 sparked an angry reaction from Beijing, with Chinese warships and warplanes circling the island in massive military exercises.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/7377780/china-dozens-spy-balloons-taiwan-invasion/ China sends dozens of spy balloons over Taiwan in chilling sign it’s “boosting plans for invasion”