Glimpse balloon a ‘sunless gaze’ for the Chinese, a reward to the Americans: analyst


Let's bring in retired Major General David Fraser CTV military analyst to get his thoughts on this balloon General Fraser good to see you what do you think well Todd it's good to be with you and I think uh simplistically this is a gift to the uh the American political system uh to go after the Chinese in a way that the Chinese can't respond uh it is a.

Balloon uh that surveys probably weather as opposed to military because there's no way that the Chinese could have put a balloon up to get over a missile site when it's not Tethered to anything and you can't control it so it just happens to violate uh U.S airspace it has a surveillance capability and but probably not the type of surveillance capability.

The Chinese would have used to go after a missile site so this quite frankly is a political coup for the Americans and a black guy for the Chinese at a time when the Chinese don't need it and the fact that Lincoln has postponed his visit uh the Americans are making hay what do you think happened here or may have happened here General Fraser.

Well from the pictures that were that we're seeing right now and and you know by all intents and purposes it probably was a balloon that got out of control that just drifted into a North American airspace uh it was at the worst possible time for the Chinese it probably was doing some sort of weather surveillance or something else that probably not.

Military the fact that it's still flying up there it's no military threat because the U.S would have shot it down or brought it down if it was a military threat specifically uh going after if it was going after a missile site but the fact that it's still up there they're not worried about it and they're just waiting for it to come down and collect.

Whatever is off it and uh probably after they analyze it send it back with the Chinese saying that a little thank you uh the other question that some are asking is why doesn't the U.S military intervene and you know blow it out of the sky General Fraser simplistically if it was a threat uh either a military threat or a threat to.

Civilians it would have actually they would have actually gotten rid of it the fact that it's up there it's not a threat to any uh air traffic it they fly about you know 25 20 uh 30 000 feet military planes flying around sixty thousand feet this is well above that so uh it's not a threat to anything and therefore uh the only thing that's a.

Threat to is the political stability between the U.S and China and the uh us is very upset with the Chinese for allowing this this to happen uh but the fact that it's still floating it's no threat to anyone tell me about the Optics though this creates for China huge huge issue for optics for the Chinese uh the fact that you know.

Whatever the reason this balloon was floating it has now become a international political issue and this is something that Chinese can't do anything about they can't control they can't bring it back it's out of their control uh the Americans are upset about it the Canadians are upset about it because it went through our air space.

And it's a big political issue and a given what's what's going on in Ukraine and elsewhere around the world the Chinese don't need any more aggravation and they've just put their foot into it uh they've jumped into this one Lock Stock and Barrow and whoever launched this balloon is probably not having tea with their bosses one last question has.

To do with the uh Anthony blink and the U.S Secretary of State he's going to be coming out here momentarily uh he has postponed his trip to China the implications of that General Fraser what do you think well I think it's political posturing I think right now Lincoln who was going to go there uh it probably now has a lot.

More leverage when he he does he will go to the Chinese and talk to his counterpart but he's got a lot more leverage now when he sits down with them to discuss Twitter uh the agenda that the Americans have with South China Seas what they're going to be doing in the Philippines and whatnot so this is all bodes well for blinken's visit uh it's.

It's posturing it's just really bad news for the Chinese if there's nothing they can do about it General Fraser appreciate you taking the time gaining the insights and your expertise thank you

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