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    Taiwan Says 6 Chinese Balloons Flew Through Its Airspace and Warplanes and Ships Also Detected

    Taiwan Says 6 Chinese Balloons Flew Through Its Airspace and Warplanes and Ships Also Detected

    TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwan said Monday that six Chinese balloons either flew over the island or through airspace just north of it, while Chinese warplanes and navy ships were also detected in the area.

    The dispatch of such balloons, which generally disappear into the Pacific to the east, appears to be on the rise, though their purpose has not been publicly announced.

    The Defense Ministry noted the balloon sightings on a list of Chinese People's Liberation activity in the waters and airspace around Taiwan. One passed near the southern city of Pingtung, while the others flew just north of the port of Keelung, where Taiwan has an important naval base.

    It remains unclear whether the balloons have an explicit function, but they appear to be part of a campaign of harassment against the self-governed island, which claims as its own territory and has vowed to reclaim by if necessary.

    In the leadup to Taiwan's presidential election earlier this month, China had been stepping up such activities, along with its rhetorical threats, though Beijing's threats are generally seen as backfiring.

    The independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party won a third straight term in the presidency, this time under current Vice President Lai Ching-te, or William Lai. The pro-unification Nationalist Party won just one more seat in the legislature than the DPP. The party of former Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je siphoned votes…

    Continue Reading This Article At Military.com

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