What China said about suspected Chinese see balloon spotted over US


The first time we were hearing directly from China. After surprising reports that a suspected Chinese spy balloon is floating over the northern U.S., the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson addressed the situation a short time ago,.

Saying they are aware of the reports. And we'll have more on a live report from Beijing in just a moment. But a senior US defense official says the Pentagon is confident this surveillance balloon belongs to China. The U.S.

Has been tracking it for a few days and it has entered Montana via Canada. We've been hearing that it does not pose a serious risk, but it is traveling near sensitive sites. And people living in the Billings, Montana area definitely noticed something strange in the sky.

Less and less is the moon and there's that What planet is that? Okay. That's the moon. It's a little fuzzy out here. And it's a kind of a credit phone,.

But it's slightly overcast. But what the heck is that? That's not the sun. And according to my little planet guide, it's not a planet. What the heck is that? Any help would be appreciated. The military and White House say there are no plans.

To shoot down the balloon. It's traveling at a very high altitude, well above commercial air traffic. But the balloon is near a potential target for Chinese espionage, intercontinental ballistic missiles located in Montana. Meanwhile, the Biden administration.

Says it acted immediately to prevent the balloon from collecting any sensitive information. CNN's Pentagon correspondent Oren Liebermann picks up the story. It will say it came into the U.S. over Montana coming in from Canada.

And that's where they began tracking it at first launching F-22 fighter jets. In the end, the decision was made not to shoot it down. President Joe Biden was asked for military options, but senior military leaders,.

Including chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Mark Milley, advised against shooting this down. Instead, they are keeping an eye on it and seeing where it goes. The Pentagon does acknowledge this traveled over several sensitive sites, though they won't specify.

Which sites those are. It is worth noting that Montana is home to ballistic missile silos. So perhaps that's what this was after. It is also worth noting, of course, that the Pentagon says they are confident, very confident, in fact, that this was launched by China.

And they brought it up through diplomatic channels both here in Washington and in Beijing, essentially to express how angry they are about this Well, CNN Beijing bureau chief Steven Jiang joins me now.

And Stephen, we just got reaction from Beijing to this. What are they saying Yeah, can I just came back from the Foreign Ministry's daily briefing where I asked them.

Three questions about this alleged Chinese spy balloon. What's interesting is disposal did not deny the balloon belongs to China outright. Instead, she gave this rather vague answer, as you can see on your screen. She said,.

We are aware of reports of the balloon and are trying to understand the circumstances and verify the details of the situation. I'd like to stress that before it becomes clear what happened. Any deliberate speculation or hyping up.

What now would not help the handling of the matter, she added. China is a responsible country. We act in accordance with international law and we have no intention of violating our country's airspace. We hope relevant parties will handle the matter.

In a cool handed way. So this rather muted response seemed to give some credence to the analysis by some US experts that the revelation of this balloon was deliberate on the part.

Of some of US officials to really put the Chinese on the backfoot ahead of the uplink and visit to allow the Secretary to really addressed this issue with them more directly, to confront them, to basically tell them.

What the US knows and what the US would like to see Chinese do. But it's also interesting that when I and other reporters asked the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman about if this revelation would have any impact on this planned high stakes visit,.

She dodged the question simply saying she has no information or updates to announce. But the timing of this of course, is what makes this very delicate and also potentially highly consequential, because it really complicates things at a time.

When both governments, at least publicly, are saying they're trying to reset or at least stabilize this increasingly contentious relationship. And remember, this kind of incident incidents really in a way playing.

To the hands of hardliners on both sides. Already, we are seeing some members of Congress in Washington calling for stronger actions and new briefings and in portraying this as yet another example of how President.

Biden's China policy is being too weak. And similarly, on the Chinese sides, you could see this potentially really stir up more nationalistic sentiment and feelings. And so, you know, this obviously is not happening.

In a vacuum. Ahead of this visit, we are already seeing a flurry of activities on the US part, not only on the economic and technology front, but also in the military sphere in terms of shoring up its presence in the region,.

Including those newly signed agreements with the Philippines and even without this balloon revelation. Expectations already very low about this visit in terms concrete results out of the meetings between Blinken and his Chinese counterpart, Kim. And with this revelation,.

I think it's just adding more uncertainty to this trip. For more on this, I want to bring in Malcolm Davis from Canberra, Australia. He's a senior analyst with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

Thank you so much for being here with us. So with this, you know, spy balloon in some ways it seems comically low tech, but what do you make of this balloon and its purpose and capabilities? Look, I think what it is is certainly a political message being sent by China to challenge the US in terms of.

The upcoming visit by Secretary of State Blinken. You know, it's a bit of a provocative shot across the US because in that sense, from a military technical perspective, I think as you say, it's a very low tech way of undertaking.

Intelligence gathering a comparison to, say, spy satellites, but in the way that they could use this balloon to gather signals intelligence and electronic intelligence. They have a critical military site. It's probably quite a provocative.

But challenging but effective way of gathering intelligence. So so you think it's more to to sort of listen in rather than to to see things? I guess the US decision not to shoot it down, it surprised some people. Do you agree with the rationale?.

Just let it go? Yes, essentially because if you look at the imagery of the balloon, you'll note that there's two large areas of solar panels below it. And then in the middle.

There is a series of equipment sections, essentially an instrumentation package. This would have a fair bit of mass given the size of the balloon. So if they shut the balloon down, there's quite the possibility that that instrumentation package.

And the solar panels could actually cause damage or potentially even harm people on the surface below when it came crashing down. Okay. But it has to come down sometime. So where could it land?.

And then what happens then? Does it does it sort of will we see a James Bond like race to get to it first? Well, my initial thought was I station zebra, if you remember that movie, but essentially, yes, it does have to come down at some point.

And so the instrumentation package on that balloon would be of intelligence value to the US The US would obviously want to get a hold of that. The Chinese would want to stop them from getting that. So it really does depend on where it comes down.

If it comes down over the ocean, perhaps in the Gulf of Mexico or on the Atlantic Ocean, then it is a challenge in terms of recovering up from the water. If it comes down over land, potentially over Central America or Mexico. That's an even more challenging scenario.

Because then it's in someone else's territory. So it will be interesting to see how that ultimate endgame works out.

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3 thoughts on “What China said about suspected Chinese see balloon spotted over US

  1. The Pentagon has made up an ungainly hilarious chronicle for us. What a silly knowing when Chinese language navy the use of Zeppelin balloon to ask our nation! So many reviews in the help of this ridiculous reactions. Why appropriate form order us what’s truly came about? Appears the proprietor of this balloon dare to now not voice one thing!

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