China Balloon: Taiwan claims it found remnant of suspected weather balloon

Taiwan claims to have found crashed balloon
Image: Chase Doak

Taiwan says it has found what looks like the remains of a Chinese weather balloon.


Taiwan’s military said they saw an unidentified object floating above Dongyin, a Taiwanese-controlled island off China’s coast.


It found out later that the crash happened on a shooting range.


Initial investigations, according to the military, showed that the pieces came from a meteorological device.


Taiwan’s Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng said that investigation into the downed balloon continues and officials would not “jump to conclusions.”


Local media reported that a senior defense official said this is the first time these kinds of relics have been found on Taiwan’s outlying islands.


This month, the US shot down what it said was a Chinese spy balloon in its airspace, increasing tensions between China and the US. The US also shot down three other objects that it says were probably not spy planes from other countries.


The sphere found on Dongyin was about one meter in diameter and had the name of a Chinese company. According to online searches, the company sells meteorological and radio equipment.


Taiyuan Radio No. 1 Factory Co., Ltd. is based in Taiyuan, which is the provincial capital of Shanxi and a major industrial center in China.


In simplified Chinese characters, the sphere also had the words “GTS13 digital atmospheric sounding instrument” and “meteorological instrument” written on it, according to a statement from the military.


China has used simplified Chinese characters since the 1950s, but Taiwan still uses traditional characters.


The government hasn’t shown any pictures of what it is.


Taiwan’s defense ministry said Tuesday that it had not seen any Chinese surveillance balloons but had seen weather balloons before. It also said that it would not hesitate to shoot down any balloons that were a threat.


China sees Taiwan as a province that will one day have to be ruled by Beijing.


Taiwan thinks of itself as separate from the Chinese mainland. It has its own constitution and leaders who are chosen by the people.

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