China violates Japanese and Taiwanese airspace with more spy balloons

An exclusive BBC investigation has found that Chinese spy balloons also targeted Japan and Taiwan. Japan has vowed to retaliate in the future.
Christopher McFadden
What is China up to?

Chase Doak/Wikimedia Commons 

A BBC investigation has revealed that Chinese spy balloons targeted Asian nations and the continental United States.

Some spy balloons were spotted, reported the BBC, trespassing in Japanese and Taiwanese airspace. Tokyo has even threatened to act with force, declaring that the nation will intercept and destroy balloons if detected. China, for its part, has not responded or addressed the evidence that the BBC has recently presented.

It has been revealed that a Chinese spy balloon was seen flying over the US months ago and was subsequently shot down near the country's coast. China criticized the US action, asserting that it was a civilian airship designed for research and meteorology purposes.

The balloons didn't just target the US

According to John Culver, a former CIA East Asia analyst, the Chinese have been making a continuous effort for at least five years to use specially designed balloons for long-range missions. Some of these balloons have even allegedly circumnavigated the globe, indicating that this is not just a one-time occurrence.

According to the BBC report, China flew a balloon over Japan in September 2021. Corey Jaskolski, the founder of Synthetaic, an artificial intelligence company, stated that the balloon was probably launched from a location deep inside China, potentially to the south of Mongolia.

The situation is worrying as Japan is a crucial security partner of the US, with the highest number of American military personnel stationed there compared to any other nation. According to BBC, Japan is now implementing necessary measures to counter the threat posed by Chinese balloons.

A representative from the Japanese defense ministry has stated that the government is closely monitoring the situation on a daily basis and is prepared to take necessary measures, including shooting down balloons, to safeguard the lives and property of individuals residing within Japan's territory. According to the research conducted jointly by BBC and Synthetaic, it was found that a spy balloon resembling the one seen in Australia had also been spotted flying over Taiwan during the same month of September 2021.

What is China up to?

Recently, two pictures captured by Taiwan's weather service depicted a balloon-shaped object hovering above the bustling city of Taipei. Subsequent investigation revealed that a spy balloon was present off the coast of Taiwan during that time.

Recent reports have raised concerns about China's covert global surveillance program, which allegedly includes the use of spy balloons in both the Americas and Asia. These balloons are said to be utilized to gather intelligence data from important military posts and nuclear sites in enemy nations. In fact, a balloon that was downed by the US Air Force earlier this year was found to be only 80 miles (130 km) away from a nuclear air force base in Montana at one point.

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