(AmericanProsperity.com) – Last week’s bizarre Chinese spy balloon scare is over. The communist surveillance craft was shot down on February 4 by a US warplane, and the Navy is now searching for its wreckage. The White House says it plans to learn as much as it can about Beijing’s aerial eavesdroppers.
NEW: White House wants to ‘exploit’ what it can recover from China balloon https://t.co/g9LUA1t4Gm pic.twitter.com/UL3TQ4KHiQ
— The Hill (@thehill) February 6, 2023
On January 28 a 100-foot-wide Chinese high-altitude balloon, carrying an equipment pod powered by solar panels longer than a school bus, entered US airspace near the Aleutian Islands. For the next week it wandered over Canada and the northern US, occasionally stopping to loiter near strategic US missile bases, before crossing the Atlantic coast over South Carolina and promptly being shot down by a USAF F-22A Raptor stealth fighter.
According to The Hill, on February 6 National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said the balloon — which China insists was a “civilian airship” used for weather research — had been monitored during its trip, and the US had already learned a lot from tracking it. Now, he says, an operation is underway to locate and recover the balloon’s wreckage so it can be analyzed for more information. The US Navy has already retrieved floating debris off Myrtle Beach, SC, which has been sent to the FBI’s labs at Quantico, VA for analysis. Financial Times reported that the White House says there are no plans to give the wreckage back to China.
Beijing’s communist regime has complained about the US’s “obvious overreaction” in destroying the balloon, and insists the wreckage is its property. Foreign ministry spokesman Mao Ning insisted “This balloon is not American” and pledged that China will “defend its legitimate rights and interests.” However, whatever China’s interests are, it doesn’t have a right to send spy platforms across the US — and the remains of this one will now be analyzed to tell US scientists what China’s surveillance systems can do.
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