Days before a key election, Taiwan reported that 17 Chinese spy balloons entered its airspace

01/05/2024 Incursion of Chinese military aircraft into Taiwan’s airspace POLITICS ASIA ASIA TAIWAN CHINA MINISTRY OF DEFENSE OF TAIWAN (MINISTRY OF DEFENSE OF TAIWAN/)

The Taiwanese authorities have denounced the entry into their airspace of 17 balloons from mainland Chinaa gesture of special importance given the proximity of the Taiwanese elections on January 13, in which the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), far from Beijing, is the main favorite.

The 17 devices have been detected crossing the middle line of the Taiwan Strait since the beginning of December and since New Year there have been crossings of the border line daily, according to the Taiwanese Ministry of Defense, which has published detailed information on its account on X, formerly Twitter.

For decades the dividing line was respected by both parties despite the fact that Beijing considers Taiwan part of the country. However, since 2019, incursions by Chinese military aircraft and balloons have occurred almost daily.

A plane flies next to a suspected Chinese spy balloon as it floats off the coast of South Carolina, USA (REUTERS/Randall Hill)
A plane flies next to a suspected Chinese spy balloon as it floats off the coast of South Carolina, USA (REUTERS/Randall Hill) (RANDALL HILL/)

“The (Chinese) Communist Party uses drones and hot air balloons as a form of gray zone attacks, of incursion,” said an official from the Taiwanese Ministry of Defense quoted by the newspaper South China Morning Post.

Beijing is trying to “affect the morale” of the population of Taiwan within the framework of a “cognitive war,” the Ministry spokesperson has denounced.

Taipei has directly accused the Chinese Armed Forces of these incursions and denounces an attempt by Beijing to interfere in the elections, in which 19.5 million voters elect the president, vice president and Parliament.

The director of the Chinese Government’s Taiwan Affairs Office, Song Tao, has urged the Taiwanese population to “stand on the right side of history” and support reunification with China.

William Lai Ching Te’s PDP is the favorite to win the elections, even more so after its two main rivals, the Kuomintang and the Taiwan People’s Party (PPT), announced the breakdown of negotiations to form a coalition. to the appointment. Both the Kuomintang and the PPT are considered close to Beijing.

Taiwan was the last stronghold that Mao Zedong’s People’s Liberation Army could not take. during the revolution that culminated in 1949so formally the island remains the Republic of China, as opposed to the People’s Republic of China with its capital in Beijing.

The Chinese Government considers the island as part of the country and under its sovereignty and warns that it could impose its control even by force. Taiwan, for its part, has the support of the United States and its allies.

(With information from Europa Press)