China’s unwelcome Lunar New Year gift to Taiwan was an enormous swarm of mysterious balloons, with 16 of them crossing the median line of the Taiwan Strait since Friday. At least six of the balloons passed directly over northern and central Taiwan.
The balloons were traveling at altitudes between 12,000 to 35,000 feet. The sightings on Friday and Saturday brought the total number of Chinese balloons detected around Taiwan since December to 83.
The number of balloon incidents increased noticeably in the run-up to Taiwan’s presidential election on January 13, which was won by anti-Communist candidate William Lai Ching-te, vice-president and chosen successor to outgoing President Tsai Ing-wen.