American authorities say Chinese spy balloons have been active on several continents.
– We know that these surveillance balloons have flown over many countries on several continents around the world, including some of our closest allies and partners.
This is what John Kirby, coordinator of the National Security Council at the White House, says in a press release from the US Department of Defense.
In early February, a balloon was shot down in American airspace over the coast of the state of South Carolina. The Americans believe it was a Chinese spy balloon, while China rejects this claim and claims it was a misplaced weather balloon.
“Electronic spy” recovered
The Americans now claim to have been able to determine that China has a high-flying balloon program used for intelligence purposes, linked to the People’s Liberation Army, according to the statement.
The People’s Liberation Army is the name of the Chinese armed forces.
The United States says it has recovered sensors and electronic components that could be used for intelligence purposes from the wreckage of the downed Chinese balloon.
-The program was operational under the previous administration, but they didn’t find out about it. We discovered it, we followed it, and we studied it carefully to learn as much as possible, Kirby says.
Third object shot down in three days by the USA
Difficult to trace
The downed balloon would be the size of three school buses. Slow-moving objects at high altitudes are difficult to track with radar, even objects of this size, Kirby says.
The Americans are now consulting their allies on the challenge of identifying objects in flight.
Recently, several unidentified objects were spotted in the airspace over the United States and Canada and ordered removed. Three objects were shot down this weekend in Alaska in the United States, Yukon in Canada and Lake Huron in the United States.
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