- On Monday, Taiwan said it’s still seeing balloons from China passing over the island.
- At least one of these balloons crossed over Taiwan’s south completely, the defense ministry said.
- Taiwan has slammed the balloons as “cognitive warfare” waged by China.
China isn’t letting up on its deluge of balloons on Taiwan, sending over another six high-altitude balloons on Sunday, according to the island’s defense ministry.
The six balloons passed through Taiwan airspace at different hours of the day, with five skirting around the island’s north at altitudes of 20,000 feet and above, per a daily update by the Taiwanese Defense Ministry.
But a sixth passed over the entire island from Sunday morning to afternoon, floating at a lower altitude of 15,000 feet near Pingtung City in the south, the ministry said.
Four People’s Liberation Army aircraft and four vessels also approached the island, per the update.
In the lead-up to Taiwan’s election in January, Taipei said it had spotted dozens of Chinese balloons entering its territory.
China hasn’t said what the balloons are for or claimed responsibility for them.
A Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson told Axios on Wednesday that they were “not aware of the specifics you mentioned and it’s not related to China’s foreign affairs” when asked about the balloons.
But Taiwan said on January 6 that China is using the balloons in a campaign of harassment. It called them a “cognitive warfare” tactic and encouraged Taiwanese people to face them “rationally and calmly.”
Chinese high-altitude balloons were a source of great tension for Washington and Beijing in early 2023 when a balloon crossed over the US mainland and was shot down over South Carolina.
The US repeatedly said it found that the balloon was used for spying purposes. China said it was a civilian craft.
The Pentagon later said multiple such balloons had crossed over the US before.
Tensions between Taiwan and China are growing as William Lai Ching-te was elected president of the island on January 13. Lai’s party, the Democratic Progressive Party, has long campaigned on resisting China and preparing for the threat of war.
China’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment from BI.