Chinese spy balloons entered multiple times in US, went 'undetected'


New York: Several Chinese spy balloons have transited through the US airspace, including three that went “undetected” during Trump administration.

US intelligence said that Chinese government surveillance balloons have transited the continental US in the months and years preceding the most recent encounter last week.

‘Never happened’

Responding to claims from President Joe Biden administration that Chinese surveillance balloons had travelled across the continental US at least three times under Trump, the former president asserted that “this never happened. It would have never happened”.

Trump instead accused the White House of spreading “disinformation” to distract from its own “incompetent” behavior.

A report by Fox News quoted Trump saying, “It never happened with us under the Trump administration and if it did, we would have shot it down immediately.”

Is Trump lying?

Trump slammed Biden and said his administration was spreading this because “they look so bad, as usual.”

He even called Biden administration “incompetent”.

But, a senior administration official told Fox News Digital, “US intelligence, not the Biden administration” assesses that “PRC government surveillance balloons transited the continental US briefly at least three times during the prior administration and once that we know of at the beginning of this administration, but never for this duration of time.”

Chinese spy balloons ‘went undetected’

The official said that the information on Chinese spy balloons under the Trump administration was “discovered after” he left office and “they went undetected”.

This is “part of a larger pattern,” the official said, adding, “These balloons are all part of a PRC (People’s Republic of China) fleet of balloons developed to conduct surveillance operations, which have also violated the sovereignty of other countries.”

The official further said that these activities are “often undertaken at the direction of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).”

Chinese spy balloons spotted earlier in US

The report mentioned US officials saying that four months ago, a Chinese spy balloon crashed into the Pacific off the coast of Hawaii. They also said that at least one Chinese spy balloon flew over portions of Texas and Florida during the Trump administration.

Republican lawmakers accuse China

A Chinese spy balloon, which was almost of the size of three buses, that had strayed into the US airspace was shot down on Saturday by a military jet over the Atlantic Ocean using a single AIM-9X supersonic, heat-seeking, air-to-air missile.

A day before shooting down the balloon, the Pentagon, on Friday, said that it had surveillance capabilities.

A US defense official said that the Chinese surveillance balloon first entered US airspace on 28 January and moved largely over land across Alaska before moving into Canadian airspace on 30 January. It re-entered US airspace on 31 January.

Republican lawmakers have accused China of surveilling sensitive US military sites with the spy balloon and slammed the Biden administration of giving a chance to Beijing by not downing the balloon.

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Chinese spy balloons entered multiple times in US, went 'undetected'
Chinese spy balloons entered multiple times in US, went 'undetected'
ASE News
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