The United States shot down the Chinese spy balloon that had been flying over the country for a few days, while another appeared over Costa Rica. Identical balloons have reportedly been seen in different countries in recent years…
A Chinese spy balloon caused a stir at the end of last week when it was seen passing over Alaska and Canada, before flying over a nuclear site in the state of Montana. The balloon was called a spy by the Americans, while China replied that it was a meteorological research device that had deviated from its route due to force majeure.
If the United States hesitated to neutralize the device when it flew over American soil, it was shot down Saturday afternoon once over the Atlantic Ocean, off South Carolina. The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs immediately reacted by declaring that “ in such circumstances, the use of force by the United States is a gross overreaction and a serious violation of international practice “. Navy divers are currently searching for the debris, spread over an area 11 kilometers wide, and at a depth of about 14 meters.
The United States has already spied on China with balloons
Spy balloons are nothing new, and are not unique to China. The first observation balloon was invented in France in 1794, only eleven years after the very first flight of a hot air balloon. The balloon was used during the Battle of Fleurus, allowing Jean-Marie-Joseph Coutelle and an officer to observe the enemy, and thus help the French forces achieve victory.
In particular, the United States used spy balloons to monitor the USSR and China as early as the 1950s. The balloons were part of the Genetrix projects, and measured more than 30 meters in diameter. Each carried a DMQ-1 camera capable of taking pictures for 80 kilometers on each side. The balloons flew at a height between 15 and 22 kilometers for 5 to 7 days, launched from Turkey and West Germany. After crossing the target area, either China or Russia, the device activated an HF beacon to allow it to be found and to recover the pictures.
Many Chinese balloons seen in recent years
This latest Chinese spy balloon is not unique. A second balloon was seen a few days ago over Costa Rica. Selon CNN, other balloons flew over the United States while Donald Trump was president, but the incidents were not discovered until after the change of administration. Another briefly flew over the United States at the start of Joe Biden’s presidency.
Several governments are investigating similar incidents that have occurred in recent years. A very similar-looking balloon was also seen in japan sky, first in June 2020 over Sendai City, then in 2021 in Aomori Prefecture. Authorities were unable to identify him at the time or determine his origin. Another balloon was seen in September 2021 flying over Taipei City in Taiwan, then in March 2022 at Taipei-Songshan Airport.
Following this case, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken canceled his planned visit to China. US President Joe Biden will deliver his State of the Union address to Congress this Tuesday, February 7, and will face criticism from Republicans for not shooting down the device sooner.
A Chinese spy balloon flies over US military sites!
US and Canadian authorities observe a Chinese surveillance balloon that is currently over Montana. The army does not intend to shoot it down for the moment because of the danger posed by the falling debris.
Article d’Edward BackEdward Backpublished on 03/02/2023
UPDATE February 3 at 3:30 p.m. : According to the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it would be a aéronefaéronef used for meteorological research. China regrets that he has ” deviated from its intended route ».
A spy balloon Chinese is currently flying over the United States. The object was first detected over the Aleutian Islands in Alaska, before crossing le canada and arrive in Montana.
This state in the north of the United States is notably home to silos missilesmissiles nuclear. Authorities suspended flights from Billings Airport on Wednesday after the balloon was detected over the city. The case comes just days before a meeting between US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The US military does not intend to shoot down the balloon because of the risk that the falling debris would pose to the population. Moreover, the Pentagon does not seem to be worried about seeing the device fly over sensitive sites because it would only be able to collect information already accessible with a satellite. Authorities have not specified the size of the balloon, but US media say it is three times the size of a bus.
China tries to verify the origin of the balloon
The Chinese Daily in English China Daily immediately mocked the information. ” Spying on the United States with a balloon requires both being far behind to use 1940s technology and being advanced enough to control its flight across the ocean. Those who fabricate this lie are only exposing their ignorance ».
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning had a more nuanced response. She indicated that ” verification of reports is in progress ” and ” until the facts are clear, conjecturesconjectures and hype won’t help to properly resolve the issue ».
Spy balloons offer some advantages, as they can be difficult to detect, their cost is very low, and they can operate for long periods of time. Selon CNNthis balloon could be used to collect radio and telephone signals mobilesmobiles. Or it could be a mistake…