Taiwan spots Chinese weather balloon in strait a month before election
Taiwan's defence ministry said on Friday that a Chinese weather balloon had crossed the Taiwan Strait median line on Thursday, about a month before Taiwan's presidential election.
Taiwan Defence Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng told reporters at parliament, "Our initial understanding is that it was a sounding balloon."
Taiwan, which China claims as its own territory, frequently accuses Beijing of seeking to exert military or economic pressure to sway its elections toward outcomes favourable to the Chinese government.
The island will hold presidential and parliamentary elections on Jan. 13.
China has stepped up its military pressure against Taiwan over the past four years, including staging two rounds of major war games around the island in the past year and a half. On Tuesday, Taiwan reported rare nighttime Chinese military activity around the island, including aircraft crossing the sensitive median line.