Another official claimed that on average, one balloon flies above Taiwan each month, but that is just one of the army of spy balloons that China has launched around the world.
Must Watch: Would you live on 3D Printed Mars for a year for $60,000?
According to a Financial Times report, Chinese army balloons have been “very frequently” violating Taiwan’s airspace for years.
“They come very frequently, the last one just a few weeks ago,” one Taiwanese official said.
Another official claimed that on average, one balloon flies above Taiwan each month. Taiwan has discovered “dozens” of Chinese balloons recently, according to the Financial Times.
The frightening admission comes as international concerns over China’s extensive worldwide aerial surveillance program, which according to U.S. officials has targeted more than 40 countries across five continents, are rising. The proliferation of balloons in Taiwan correlates with increased fears that Taiwan would be attacked in the coming years by Chinese President Xi Jinping. The Director of the CIA warned earlier this month that by 2027, China intends to be ready to attack Taiwan.
Subscribe to GreatGameIndia
“Our assessment at CIA is that I wouldn’t underestimate President Xi’s ambitions with regard to Taiwan,” CIA Director Bill Burns said.
The fresh data indicates that China’s surveillance program against Taiwan is significantly more active than was previously known. Taiwanese officials previously confirmed that China had launched at least four batches of balloons above Taiwan in February and March 2022.
Both the American Institute in Taiwan and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
In recent days, worries have grown about the US government’s capacity to identify and defend against surveillance balloons and other potential airborne threats. Since the U.S. Department of Defense revealed earlier this month that a Chinese spy balloon was above the country and destroyed it, the Biden administration has destroyed three more mysterious “objects” in North America, including ones over Lake Huron, near Alaska, and in Canada.
The U.S. military doesn’t know exactly what the objects are, U.S. officials said this week, despite the fact that the U.S. Department of Defense is shooting them down. According to Gen. Glen VanHerck, commander of NORTHCOM and NORAD, the Pentagon is currently evaluating how they move and what they are meant to accomplish. At least a couple of the objects, according to Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), appear to balloon.
This week, recovery efforts for fallen debris are still going on.
About the potential abilities of the objects, several hints have appeared. The Pentagon was concerned about a “object” that was seen Sunday over Lake Huron, so the U.S. Air Force and National Guard shot it down.
The balloons that have been circling Taiwan’s airspace may be meteorological in origin, according to some Taiwanese officials, but they may also be gathering atmospheric data for radar and missile systems. Several officials confirmed to FT that the launches were carried out by China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
John Kirby, the coordinator for the White House’s National Security Council, told reporters on Monday that the United States believes China’s balloon program is linked to the PLA.
Officials in the Biden administration have insisted that the balloon that was released over the United States was a spy balloon despite China’s claims that it was a meteorological and civilian balloon.
Since then, Beijing has claimed that the US has also recently launched spy balloons above China. On Monday, the National Security Council of the White House refuted the charges.
“This is the latest example of China scrambling to do damage control,” Adrienne Watson, the National Security Council spokesperson, said Monday. “It has repeatedly and wrongly claimed the surveillance balloon it sent over the U.S. was a weather balloon and has failed to offer any credible explanations for its intrusion into our airspace, airspace of others.”
If the balloons seen over Taiwan are unique to Taiwan is not yet known. However, according to American authorities, China’s surveillance balloon operation is global in scope. Lt. Gen. Alexus Grynkewich, commander of U.S. Air Forces Central, told reporters on Monday that Chinese balloons have also been seen in the Middle East. China acknowledged that one of their balloons had recently flown above Latin America, but the administration insisted the balloon’s mission was benign and related to flight experiments.
As fears mount that Beijing may be preparing to invade Taiwan, the U.S. military is attempting to dissuade it from moving forward, according to U.S. officials who briefed senators on Capitol Hill last week.
According to Ely Ratner, the assistant secretary of defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs, there is still a chance that China won’t invade Taiwan this decade. Given how poorly Russia’s armed forces have performed in the war in Ukraine over the past year, the CIA director said earlier this month that China may be rethinking some of its plans to invade Taiwan.
However, the Pentagon claims that China is becoming more assertive in the area.
“In recent years, the PRC has increasingly turned to the PLA as an instrument of coercive statecraft in support of its global ambitions, including by conducting more dangerous coercive and aggressive actions in the Indo-Pacific region,” Ratner said.
A recent article delved into the events surrounding this mysterious object, starting with its reported entry into U.S. and Canadian airspace, its trajectory over multiple locations, and the eventual downing by the U.S. military.
According to a Monday press release from Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense, the PLA of China has already launched aircraft into Taiwan’s southwest air defense identification zone (ADIZ) this week.
In order to be ready for China’s threats, Taiwan’s army has begun practicing invasion resistance in recent weeks.
“We prepare for any kind of threat,” said Maj. Gen Yu-Chin “Eugene” Lee, the commander of the troops in training. “No one wants to go to war.”