Chinese “spy balloon” emerges, sparking fear and curiosity within the people of the United States.
On September 28, U.S. airspace detected a balloon high over Alaska, north of the Aleutian Islands. It was closely monitored and determined it was actually used for spying, as it contained surveillance equipment such as a collection pod and solar panels.
The U.S. waited for the balloon to pass through critical land of the United States, such as Montana, Idaho, Missouri and finally the Atlantic ocean, where they decided to shoot it down. This was to avoid any injuries from debris.
The military shot down this device using an F-22 Raptor stealth fighter jet off of the coast of South Carolina. Waiting so long has put at risk the information gathered, such as “sensitive strategic sites” in the United States — including nuclear missiles and military bases.
Montana officials and citizens are outraged upon the fact that Biden waited so long to shoot it down and how its knowledge was essentially being freely allowed to “spy” on the United States.
“Clearly, this went to the president’s desk. He was given options. For whatever reason, he chose not to act. And unfortunately, the result of that is that Americans are endangered, and our enemies are emboldened,” Greg Gianforte told Tucker Carlson on Fox News.
Although Montana is outraged at the decision to wait so long, Biden made a choice that didn’t necessarily benefit his country’s “tactics” but more so protected his people.
When Biden was asked about his personal decision on shooting the balloon down when he did, he explained he “did the right thing” and brought it down when it was “appropriate.”
China officially acknowledged the balloon was its property, stating it was a “civilian airship” used for meteorological research, which strayed from its route because of bad weather.
This balloon is a part of a Chinese fleet intended for spying, which has previously been recognized across five continents, such as Asia and Europe.
The balloon itself was the size of “three buses”. The head of North American Aerospace Defence Command, General Glen VanHerck, explained how the balloon was 200 feet high and floated at about 60,000 feet above the United States.
In a statement made by the Chinese foreign ministry, it states the balloon “never violated the territory and airspace of any sovereign country”.
The United States and China have one of the world’s most important and complex relationships.
China’s foreign ministry criticizes this disheartening situation as “a serious violation of international practice” and pledges retaliation.
It remains unknown what the true intentions were by sending this balloon over the United States, and many questions remain unanswered. Currently, U.S. officials are closely analyzing the device to understand the intelligence it holds and what is next for U.S.-China relations.