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Chinese balloon crosses Taiwan Strait median line

PLA balloon detected 187 km southwest of Keelung at altitude of 6,400 m

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Map shows flight paths of Chinese balloon and PLAAF military aircraft. (MND image)

Map shows flight paths of Chinese balloon and PLAAF military aircraft. (MND image)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Ministry of National Defense (MND) announced that a People's Liberation Army (PLA) balloon was detected crossing the Taiwan Strait median line on Thursday (Dec. 7).

The MND said a Chinese balloon was detected at 11:52 a.m. on Thursday, around 187 km (101 nautical miles) southwest of Keelung at an altitude of approximately 6,400 m (21,000 ft).

The balloon then headed east and "disappeared" at 12:55 p.m., according to the MND.

In addition, the defense ministry also announced that 26 PLA Air Force (PLAAF) aircraft and 10 PLA Navy (PLAN) vessels were tracked around Taiwan from 6 a.m. Thursday to 6 a.m. Friday (Dec. 8). Of the aircraft, 15 had crossed the median line or entered the southwest sector of the air defense identification zone (ADIZ).

When asked by Taiwan News to confirm whether the object is a reconnaissance balloon an MND spokesperson declined to comment.