After a Chinese spy ball was downed off South Carolina’s coast, reports from Pentagon indicate that the Chinese Defense Ministry rejected a secure phone call from U.S. Secretaryof Defense.
The U.S. finally downed the Chinese craft on Saturday, after it drifted across the North American continent for over a week, passing over several sensitive military installations – including a complex in Montana with 150 intercontinental missile silos. China claims that the object was a weather balloon that had errantly flown off course, and condemned the U.S.’s “indiscriminate use of force”It was eventually taken out.
U.S. intelligence claims that the balloon was an instrument of spying and carried thousands of pounds worth of surveillance equipment. Officials from the United States also stated that they were aware of this incident. Say itThe aircraft had small propellers and rotors. This suggests that it was not a fully-powered airplane. ‘blown off course’The balloon was intentionally flown in U.S. Airspace, and directed towards specific points of interest.
“On Saturday, 4 February, immediately after taking action to down the PRC balloon, the DOD submitted a request for a secure call between Secretary Austin and PRC Minister of National Defense Wei Fenghe,”Brigadier General Pat Ryder . “Unfortunately, the PRC has declined our request. Our commitment to open lines of communication will continue.”
On January 28th, the balloon passed over Alaska north of Alaska and was then detected again in US airspace. PoliticoReports indicate that although the craft was initially not considered to be a threat by North American Aerospace Command, (NORAD), was keeping an eye on its movements.
By January 30, it had traveled into Canadian airspace — only to move back into American airspace on January 31 when it passed into northern Idaho. The Defense Department notified President Biden of the intrusion and US military personnel on the ground started to make steps to protect radio communications and secure site locations.
Biden asked that the balloon be brought down. However, military advisors persuaded him to not do so. The advisors supposedly believed that the risk of debris harming civilians or structures on the ground was too high — analysts reportedly estimated that the debris could scatter across a 7-mile radius. The Biden administration began exploring possible options to shoot down the balloon from US territory waters by February 1.
Officials became more anxious as the balloon approached Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana, one of only 3 locations that store and operate America’s nuclear ICBM systems. The craft was grounded from Billings in Montana and fighters had to scramble for cover, as they were anticipating an order to take it down.
The order wasn’t given and the balloon sailed across the US, where it was met with heavy criticism from the Biden government as civilian observers and lawmakers became more aware of the situation.
Antony Blinken, Secretary of States was inaugurated on February 3. CharacterizedInvasion of the enemy as an a “clear violation of U.S. sovereignty and international law,”And then AnnulledA planned state visit to China.
An F-22 fighter plane flew over the spy balloon, just outside Myrtle Beach in South Carolina.
The showdown over the spy balloon represents a major flare-up in an increasingly tense relationship between the United States and the People’s Republic of China, which has been heating up steadily for years — growing tensions in the Taiwanese strait have sparked fears that China might attempt an aggressive take over of Taiwan, paralleling Russian aggression in Ukraine.
Recent ReportsThis indicates that China is sending spy balloons to US territory before, and the U.S.’s downing of the Chinese balloon is just one part of an international espionage effort.
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