The conflict over China’s balloons continues: Taiwan has spotted one on a key island for Beijing

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The Ministry of Defense of Taiwan said a Chinese weather balloon landed on one of its outlying islandswhile the US claims Beijing has deployed such devices around the world to spy on Washington and its allies.

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The balloon was equipped with equipment registered with a state-owned electronics company in the northern city of Taiyuan, the ministry explained in a statement on Thursday.

The islet on which it appeared, Tungyin, is part of the Matsu archipelago, located off the coast of China’s Fujian province.

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Taiwan has maintained control of these islands ever since the two sides separated in 1949 in the midst of the civil war and are seen as a first line of defense in case China decides to follow through on its threat to bring the island under its control, by force if necessary.

Contacted by telephone, an advertising executive from the company identified in the report, Taiyuan Wireless (Radio) First Factory Ltd., He said the company supplied the electronics but didn’t build the balloon.

A Chinese balloon shot down on February 4 in South Carolina (REUTERS / Randall Hill file)

A Chinese balloon shot down on February 4 in South Carolina (REUTERS / Randall Hill file)

Taiyuan is one of the companies supplying equipment to the China Meteorological Agency, the spokesman said, who gave only his last name, Liu.

The contraption was probably one of those that are launched daily to monitor the weather. and probably left the coastal city of Xiamen aimlessly, the spokesman said.

Deflation was probably the natural result of having caught up a maximum altitude of about 30,000 meters (nearly 100,000 feet), Liu said. These types of balloons frequently fly over the Taiwan Strait, but until now, they hadn’t attracted attention, she noted.

The equipment information was written in simplified Chinese characters used in mainland China, rather than traditional Taiwanese script, the ministry added.

China usually sends military aircraft and warships into the identification zone of the Taiwan area and across the line dividing the Taiwan Strait. This has led Taipei to increase its military purchases from the United States, increase domestic production of airplanes, submarines and combat vessels, and extend compulsory military service to all men.

Washington is Taiwan’s closest military and diplomatic ally, although they have not had formal ties since 1979. Beijing strongly protests against any contact between the island and the United Statesbut his aggressive diplomacy has helped build strong bipartisan support for Taipei on Capitol Hill.

Also on Thursday, President Joe Biden said the United States was developing “stricter rules” to track, monitor and, where appropriate, shoot down unknown aerial objects three weeks after the discovery of a suspected Chinese spy balloon flying over large parts of the country. Village. .

Beijing has promised “retaliatory measures” against US companies, in response to the sanctions that Washington has imposed on Chinese institutions for alleged links with the incidents that have been repeated on US soil.

“Chinese civilian aircraft entering US airspace did so by mistake, but Washington has overreactedusing the matter as an excuse to illegally sanction Chinese companies and institutions,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Wednesday.

“China strongly opposes and it will retaliate against US entities that harm our sovereignty and safety,” he said.

Source: Clarin

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