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Home News What We Know Of The “Chinese Spy Balloon” Over Northern US

What We Know Of The “Chinese Spy Balloon” Over Northern US

What We Know Of The “Chinese Spy Balloon” Over Northern US

( – The US military is following a Chinese high-altitude spy balloon as it travels over parts of the northern US.

Defense authorities, including Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the White House, ultimately opted against blasting it out of the sky.

At a news conference in Washington, DC, a Pentagon representative revealed that the suspected balloon had been seen Wednesday over Billings, Montana; after crossing Canada and the Aleutian Islands, it then flew into Montana.

Since then, China has acknowledged that it is the rightful owner of the balloon and that it was accidentally blown off course by strong winds while being utilized for research.

What is the Pentagon’s position on the spy balloon?

According to Brig Gen Pat Ryder, the Pentagon’s press secretary, “The United States Government has spotted and is following a high altitude surveillance balloon that is now over the continental United States.”

“The United States government, including the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), continues to watch and closely monitor it.

According to NORAD,

“Instances of this kind of balloon activity have been observed previously over the past several years. Once the balloon was detected, the US government acted immediately to protect against the collection of sensitive information.”

They added that the balloon does not pose a military or physical threat to persons on the ground as it is currently flying at a height much above commercial air traffic.

How has China responded?

Early on Friday morning, China responded to reports of the balloon by stating it was checking into them and advising Washington officials to maintain their composure because Beijing has “no intention of invading the sovereignty and airspace of any sovereign country.”

According to Mao Ning, a spokesman for the foreign ministry, “China is a responsible country and has always scrupulously abided by international laws, and China has no intention of breaching the territory and airspace of any sovereign country.”

“Hype and speculation are not helpful until the facts are known,” she added.

The spokeswoman continued, “As for the balloon, as I just mentioned, we are looking into and checking the matter and hope that both sides can manage this together calmly and thoughtfully.”

The top official added that the public and politicians should reserve judgment over the spy balloon sightings “until we have a full knowledge of the facts.”

In a later statement, the foreign ministry claimed the balloon was a “civilian airship” blown off course by the wind.

The airship originates in China. According to the statement, the civilian airship is utilized for study, primarily meteorological research. Due to the Westerlies and the airship’s limited self-steering capacity, it strayed significantly from its intended trajectory.

The Chinese side regrets that the airship accidentally entered US airspace due to force majeure. The Chinese side will keep in touch with the US and appropriately handle this unforeseen circumstance brought on by force majeure.

Although F-22s sprinted to intercept the balloon, they didn’t fire a shot.

A senior defense official told reporters, “You did see reports yesterday of a ground halt at Billings Airport and the mobilization of a lot of assets, including F-22.”

He said preparations have been made in case the decision was made to shoot it down while it was over Montana.

He added that as a result of this possible decision, they wanted to be confident that we were working with civil authorities to clear the airspace above that prospective location.

However, despite taking these safety precautions, some military commanders believed we hadn’t lowered the risk to an acceptable level.

And that’s why the US has decided not to attempt to shoot it down.

Why did the military recommend against shooting down the balloon?
Why not take it out? A senior defense official told reporters, “We must weigh the risks and rewards here.”

Therefore, the first inquiry is:
Does it constitute a threat, precisely physical and kinetic harm, to people living in the US homeland? The conclusion is that it does not.

Does it endanger commercial aviation? The conclusion is that it does not.

Does it present a materially increased threat from an intelligence perspective? The best conclusion is that it does not, according to reports.

Accordingly, “given that information, we consider the risk of downing it, even though the possibility of the debris falling and injuring someone or damaging property is low in a sparsely populated area, that it wasn’t worth it.”

Governor of Montana responds.

Governor Greg Gianforte stated, “I received an intelligence briefing yesterday regarding a possible Chinese spy balloon hovering over Montana.”

“I’m very worried by the steady stream of worrying developments for our national security, from the spy balloon to the Chinese Communist Party spying on Americans through TikTok to CCP-linked corporations buying American farmland,” said Gianforte.

What possible targets in Montana may China be interested in monitoring?

One of the three primary nuclear missile silo fields and a portion of the US nuclear arsenal are both located in Montana. North Dakota and Wyoming are home to the other two.

According to the Pentagon, the Air Force at Malmstrom maintains 150 intercontinental ballistic missile silos throughout its 13,800 square-mile complexes in central Montana.

The official told reporters on Thursday that it was evident that the purpose of the balloon was to spy.

This is a developing story.

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