Suspected of espionage: blinking: Chinese balloon part of surveillance program

suspicion of espionage
Blink: Chinese balloon Part of surveillance program

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken comments on the alleged spy balloon at a press conference in Washington. photo

© Jacquelyn Martin/AP/dpa

The alleged spy balloon from China continues to cause diplomatic turmoil. US Secretary of State Blinken shares initial findings with the public.

According to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the suspected spy balloon shot down by the US from China is part of an extensive surveillance program.

“The United States was not the only target of this broad program that violated the sovereignty of countries on five continents,” said Blinken at a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Washington. The United States had exchanged information with dozens of countries. Blinken did not provide any more specific information.

The appearance of a Chinese surveillance balloon suspected of being used for espionage purposes over US territory has further cooled the already chilly relations between the two countries. The US military shot down the balloon over the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of South Carolina on Saturday. The US government accuses China of wanting to spy on military installations. Beijing, on the other hand, spoke of a civilian research balloon that had gone off course and of an “overreaction”. In view of the dispute, Blinken canceled a trip to Beijing at short notice.

Blink: Analyze the remains of the balloon

The Foreign Minister pointed out that parts of the downed balloon were still being recovered. “We’re analyzing them to learn more about the surveillance program.” This information would be linked to knowledge gathered while the balloon was still in American airspace. Blinken added: “We will say more about this in the coming days.”

Stoltenberg added that the balloon confirmed “a pattern in Chinese behavior.” The People’s Republic has invested heavily in new military capabilities, including surveillance and reconnaissance. Increased secret service activities can also be observed in Europe. The Chinese used satellites, cyber skills and, of course, balloons. “So we have to be vigilant,” warned the Norwegian.

US President Joe Biden warned the leadership in Beijing after the balloon was shot down. “If China threatens our sovereignty, we will act to protect our country, and we have done so,” Biden said in his official State of the Union address on Tuesday evening (local time) in Washington before both chambers of the US Congress.


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