U.S. ships have established a perimeter around a Chinese spy balloon that was shot down off the coast of South Carolina.
The Pentagon confirmed that the balloon was an attempt by China to spy on specific locations in the United States. “The balloon, which was being used by the People's Republic of China in an attempt to surveil strategic sites in the continental United States, was brought down above US territorial waters.”
The balloon was first brought to President Joe Biden's attention when it was spotted over Alaska. The U.S. military continued to track it as it passed through Canadian airspace and back into the United States. Reports say Biden initially wanted to shoot the balloon down as quickly as possible, but he was advised to wait, because the amount of debris that would fall could put too many people at risk.
The Biden administration went to the Chinese embassy seeking answers. The public was made aware of the balloon on Thursday after a Montana newspaper published photos of it. Republicans are infuriated that the administration attempted to hide the airspace violation from the public for almost a week. They also believe the administration didn't take enough action with regard to a threat to national security.
Representative Nicole Malliotakis told the New York Post, “Communist China's surveillance balloon violates international law and threatens our homeland. It's an outrage that the Biden Administration spotted this balloon days ago as it was flying over the Aleutian Islands and did nothing about it,' she said. ‘The president has not even made a comment about this unacceptable act of aggression by the CCP.”
U.S. ships formed a perimeter around the area of debris while the government waits for salvage vessels. The vessels could take days to arrive at the site. An F-22 Raptor fighter jet was responsible for taking down the balloon. According to a senior military advisor, the debris field was around seven miles wide. There is currently no timeline for the recovery of the balloon from the Atlantic Ocean.
Biden gave a speech in which he praised the pilot for successfully shooting down the balloon. He told reporters, “I ordered the Pentagon to shoot it down on Wednesday as soon as possible without doing damage to anyone on the ground. They decided that the best time to do that was when it got over water. They successfully took it down and I want to compliment our aviators who did it.”
The Future of Espionage
Just before the Chinese aircraft situation, Congress received a classified report detailing new advanced technologies that U.S. adversaries would be implementing to spy on the country. The report allegedly included two incidents of another country conducting aerial surveillance using new, advanced technology. China was named as one of these two countries.
Two of the sites where the surveillance was conducted was a military base in the United States and another one overseas. China claimed that the balloon was a civilian craft and that they regretted that it had “mistakenly” entered U.S. airspace.
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.