Taiwan reports sighting of a Chinese weather balloon on one of its outer islands. Photos/Illustrations
TAIPEI – Ministry of Defense Taiwan say a weather balloon China found on one of its outer islands. This report comes amid accusations United States of America (US) that such balloons have been sent around the world to spy on Washington and its allies.
In a statement, Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said the balloon was carrying equipment registered with a state-owned electronics company in the northern city of Taiyuan.
“Information about the equipment is written in simplified Chinese characters used on the mainland, not the traditional characters in Taiwan,” Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense said as quoted by The Associated Press, Friday (17/2/2023).
The island where it was found, Tungyin, is part of the land of the island of Matsu which lies just off the coast of China’s Fujian province.
Taiwan retained control of the islands after the two sides split in 1949 amid a civil war. The islands are considered a first line of defense if China makes use of its threat to bring Taiwan under its control by force if necessary.
Read: China Vows Revenge on US over Spy Balloons
Reached by phone, a publicity officer at the company, identified in the report as Taiyuan Wireless (Radio) First Factory Ltd., said it had provided the electronics but had not made the balloons.
The spokesman, who gave only his last name, Liu, said Taiyuan was among a number of companies providing equipment to the China Meteorological Administration.
“The balloon is likely among those launched daily to monitor the weather and may have departed from the coastal city of Xiamen without a fixed route,” he said.
Liu said the deflation was likely a natural result as it had reached a maximum altitude of around 30,000 meters.
Leave a Reply